Recently, Turistec published an article of mine titled “Artificial Intelligence Revolutionizes the Traveler’s Experience.”
In it, I shared my real-life experience using ChatGPT to organize a trip. How it proposed a four-day itinerary with very little information provided.
And it wasn’t a standard getaway that can be found in any weekly newspaper supplement.
It was a specific and tailored proposal for the days and must-visit stops that I had indicated.
And the proposal was good. In fact, it served as the foundation for what we ultimately did during those four days.
Because ChatGPT doesn’t know me (at least not yet) and doesn’t know, for example, if I’m allergic to seafood or if I don’t have a driver’s license or if I love going on mountain excursions.
So we made some adaptations to its proposal.
What’s interesting about all this is the reaction from people who have read it. Mostly professionals in the tourism and technology industry, which is Turistec’s focus.
There are two main positions.
Well, I guess there are three if we count those who currently don’t see it as important.
But if we focus on the other two, we have the skeptics on one side.
Those who think it doesn’t affect them.
Those who say, “My clients don’t know how to use this.”
It’s true that, for many people today, AI is nothing more than a toy, and when they need to do something, it doesn’t occur to them to ask that AI.
It reminds me a lot of when the Internet was launched. There were professionals who said that business would primarily remain in physical locations, in offices and in brick-and-mortar stores.
Even when they had to start combining both systems, they focused their efforts on clients who didn’t know how to navigate the internet.
But looking back, it’s true that today, in many sectors, especially in the travel industry, many traditional travel agencies have disappeared.
Just like that. Small and large ones.
And some purely online agencies that didn’t even exist 20 years ago have become the leaders today.
Then there’s the case of those who see the possibilities of the new AI.
They think about how to apply it within their businesses to be more efficient in what they already do.
They’re preparing to integrate it into their websites to attract more clients.
It’s logical to think about leveraging the power of AI within the current work environment we know and have under control.
The Third Path
From my point of view, there’s a third path.
Sooner or later, AIs (depending more on the obstacles placed in their way than technological advancements) will start getting to know the user.
And they’ll be able to search for the information their user needs.
And then websites might lose much of their significance.
Because we’ll be able to ask our AI what we want to do.
And our AI will gather the information, filter it according to our tastes and interests, and when it’s ready, present it to us for a decision.
And then making a reservation will be the easiest part.
We’ll just need to tell our AI, “Go ahead with the second option!”
Preparation is Key
So, the step that companies need to start preparing for is to be there. To ensure that information is available in a format that is easy to find by their clients’ AIs.
And to make sure that making a reservation or purchase can be completed in the simplest way possible.
It’s difficult to change the thought models that have been ingrained in us for a long time.
Just like it was challenging for people accustomed to thinking about physical businesses to have to think about online businesses.
Many times, they simply thought about doing the same things but through a website. Which essentially became the online office. One among many.
However, those who saw a little further managed the change better.
We might see the same thing again soon.
Science fiction, perhaps?