The Tech-Powered Visitor Experience
Updated: May 1
While Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been around for a while, new uses and applications for AI in the tourism industry are rapidly increasingly. The launch of ChatGPT in November 2022 by OpenAI, has significantly increased awareness of the power of this technology to enhance our everyday lives. This led me to dig into how AI is being used by tourism destinations and businesses to move visitors down the path-to-purchase and enhance the visitor experience. Research of this nature can take one down a rabbit hole but revealed some interesting and fun examples. It’s still early days in the world of tech-powered tourism using AI, the Metaverse and ChatGPT, but our industry is set to be revolutionized by these technologies.
ChatGPT was a logical place to start to prompt for examples from destinations around the world where AI is being used at different points on the path-to-purchase and throughout the visitor lifecycle. With some additional human-powered research, the following examples emerged:
Generating destination awareness and consideration
Visit Denmark used AI and ChatGPT to script this creative marketing video aimed at enticing tourists to visit Denmark.
Millennium Hotels and Resorts is creating brand awareness through its virtual presence in M Social Decentraland. They are the first hospitality group to open a hotel in the metaverse that allows players to tour the hotel with an avatar and win ‘surprises’ in the real world.
Emirates Vacations recently embedded chatbot capabilities into its display ads, allowing potential visitors to input information asking about vacation options and getting travel package recommendations in return, increasing engagement by 87%.
Supporting research, itinerary planning and booking
The Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas uses an AI-powered chatbot named Rose to provide personalized recommendations to guests, such as restaurant and activity suggestions, using natural language processing and machine learning to understand guests' preferences and make recommendations.
Low-cost airline carrier Vueling is working to establish a metaverse sales channel offering users the opportunity to plan their travel, book carbon positive trips and use the tickets for actual seats on a Vueling flight.
Pre-trip visitor information
Qatar Airways has created its QVerse, allowing passengers to view the lounge, available amenities and services prior to flying, with an experience facilitated by a virtual hostess.
Tokyo's Haneda Airport has been trialing an AI-powered Chatbot called ‘Bebot' to assist visitors with questions about airport facilities and flight information. This new application complements their existing in-airport robots that are used to provide visitors with directions, translation, and baggage handling questions.
Enhancing the on-site visitor experience
The Palais des Papes in Avignon, France enhances its visitor experience through the use of an augmented reality ‘Histopad’ that allows visitors to experience the rooms then and now, seeing each room as it was during the time of the sovereign popes.
The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam used data to analyse visitor flows, then adjust the museum’s design to reduce overcrowding, congestion and shift visitors to less-visited areas.
Sharing memories to foster advocacy
The Skyline gondola in Queenstown, NZ uses AI-powered cameras to capture visitors' experiences on its gondola rides and provide personalized video souvenirs.
If you’re looking for ways to move visitors down the path-to-purchase, here are five ways that ChatGPT suggests using AI to achieve this goal:
Personalized recommendations: AI can analyze visitor data to provide personalized recommendations for attractions, accommodations, and activities that match visitors' interests and preferences. By providing targeted recommendations, destinations can increase the likelihood of visitors making a purchase.
Chatbots and virtual assistants: AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can provide real-time assistance to visitors as they navigate the path-to-purchase. They can answer questions, provide information, and guide visitors to purchase opportunities.
Dynamic pricing: AI can analyze visitor data to adjust pricing in real-time based on demand, availability, and visitor behaviour. This can help businesses maximize revenue by optimizing pricing to match visitor demand.
Predictive analytics: AI can analyze visitor data to predict visitor likelihood of making a purchase and target relevant marketing messages and promotions, optimizing destination marketing spend and increasing yield.
Recommendation engines: AI-powered recommendation engines can analyze visitor data to suggest complementary products and services that can enhance the visitor experience and encourage additional purchases, both increasing revenue per visitor and creating a more satisfying experience for the visitor.
Accenture. (2022, September 15). Why the metaverse really matters for travel. Retrieved from https://www.accenture.com/us-en/blogs/compass-travel-blog/metaverse-travel
Olsen, B. (2023, 25 April). AI and the travel industry. What does it all mean? Retrieved from https://roadbook.com/travel/ai-technology-the-travel-industry/
Weed, J. (2023, 16 March). Can ChatGTP plan your vacation? Here’s what to know about AI and travel. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2023/03/16/travel/chatgpt-artificial-intelligence-travel-vacation.html