You’ve probably heard the buzz around ChatGPT. It’s hard not to. It’s estimated that OpenAI’s artificial intelligence chatbot reached 100 million monthly active users in January. The impressive part? ChatGPT was only released four months earlier, in November 2022, making it the fastest-growing consumer app ever.
So what is ChatGPT exactly? Think of it like a supercharged version of Google.
Users start a “chat” and ask a question or submit a prompt about anything. You could be looking for a recipe for chocolate chip cookies, to translate an email from English to Spanish, or even for it to write a blog post (not this one, we promise). Then, the AI tool responds to you in mere seconds with a recipe, your translated email, or a brand new blog.
While ChatGPT is new, artificial intelligence (AI) has been around for longer than you’d think. The computer program considered by many as the first AI program was developed in the 1950s!
Nowadays, AI is rapidly advancing, with more practical applications popping up every week. Meaning the ways rental and activity operators can use it only grows. Let’s dive into how these AI tools can help you run your business.
What is an artificial intelligence tool?
First up, what exactly is artificial intelligence? In simple terms, AI is when a computer system is able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence.
You might not notice it, but AI exists all around us. When an eCommerce store recommends a product based on your previous purchases, that’s thanks to AI. Or, in the travel industry, if you’ve interacted with a chatbot on an airline’s website, that’s AI, too.
Today, the technology has moved beyond humble recommendations and robotic chatbot responses, though, thanks to generative AI. Generative AI is AI that can create new content. That might be an image, a piece of code, or paragraphs of text. Meaning operators like you can put generative AI tools to work to save you time and money (more on that below!)
So what makes ChatGPT so powerful? Well, it uses natural language processing to create incredibly human-like text responses to prompts.
So instead of heading to Google and combing through pages of links, people are heading to ChatGPT for detailed, human-like answers to any question they have.
Will artificial intelligence impact the experience industry?
AI has already made changes to the travel industry as a whole. And it’ll only make more waves in the experience industry as the technology develops.
Want proof? OTAs like Expedia Group and Kayak have both created plugins for ChatGPT, which allows the AI tool to access their data. Users can now ask ChatGPT to “find me flights and a hotel in London on April 30th.” The AI tool then plays the role of a digital travel agent by accessing Expedia or Kayak and responds with options users can choose from.
With our new AI Plugin, a traveler can start a conversation with #ChatGPT to plan their next trip–complete with access to up-to-date information on the availability & price of flights, hotels, vacation rentals, activities, & car rentals across the world.https://t.co/cVgLL6qln9 pic.twitter.com/YAIaj9zrEd— Expedia Group (@ExpediaGroup) March 23, 2023
That’s not the end, though.
ChatGPT looks primed to become a new distribution channel for activity and rental operators. For example, today, users can ask the chatbot to “find me three bike rental and tour companies in London, UK.” In seconds, a daily itinerary is shared, complete with hotel, pub, and sightseeing options. While it currently only provides company names and descriptions, we think it’s only a matter of time until it’s able to pull listings from GetYourGuide or other OTAs.
ChatGPT for experience operators
It doesn’t just save travellers time, though. As a rental or activity operator, ChatGPT can help you save time by acting as your personal AI assistant. You can use AI tools for marketing, idea generation, or communication.
For example, you could ask ChatGPT to help with:
- Writing product descriptions, website copy, content for automated SMS notifications, and social media captions.
- Creating an SEO strategy for your content marketing, writing blog post outlines, and full blog posts.
- Drafting answers to customer questions for fast, streamlined customer service.
- Writing funny tour guide scripts, video scripts, or booking confirmation emails.
- Analyzing online reviews, pulling out themes, and telling you ways to improve your business.
- Coming up with creative ideas for new offerings, such as itineraries.
With all the tasks that ChatGPT can handle, you can finally get back to the parts you love most about your business.
2 things you need to know before using AI tools
Before you dive into using AI tools in your business, there are two key things you need to know.
ChatGPT can lie
ChatGPT is still a relatively new tool. And while it’s advancing rapidly, there are still some problems with it. The main one is hallucinations — or, in simple terms, lying.
ChatGPT is built on data that runs up to 2021, so it doesn’t know anything beyond this point. And when it doesn’t know something, it makes it up. Even when it’s pulling information that it’s been trained on, ChatGPT can’t accurately tell fact from fiction.
How to fix it? Fact-check everything you get from ChatGPT before you share it with customers. You don’t want to lose your customers; trust because you shared incorrect information about the experiences you offer or destinations you operate in.
AI tools lack emotion
AI tools may act like a human, but they’re not. And that has some drawbacks.
When it comes to writing, AI tools can produce pretty decent production descriptions. But this copy often lacks emotion and originality. And it’s emotion that makes a sale, especially for activities and experiences.
How to fix it? Use AI tools as a starting point when writer’s block hits, but add a human touch to any copy before you publish it. Add in heart-thumping adjectives, sensory descriptions, and flashes of your brand’s unique personality.
Learn the basics of good copywriting to help you add these final touches. For example, if you’re using AI to write emails, you can learn what makes a good booking confirmation email, so you know how to improve ChatGPT’s first draft.
3 must-have AI tools
If you’re convinced that AI can improve productivity and efficiency in your business, here are three must-use tools to try:
Want product descriptions that turn browsers into bookers? Gondola’s product description generator uses reviews from your past customers to write descriptions that convert future customers.
Enter at least five reviews of one of your offerings. The AI tool will then create a product description using real words from your customers!
Remember to fact-check, edit to suit your brand, and add any missing details before hitting publish.
Dive in with the AI tool that’s causing all the fuss! Create an account and then interact with ChatGPT as you would a regular chatbot. To get the best results, write clear and detailed prompts.
Here’s three ideas for how to write prompts for ChatGPT:
- For communications: Write me a thank-you email to send to customers who have just done a three-hour kayaking tour with my company, Kayak Banff. They’re a family of four from France with two young kids. Say thank you for booking, politely ask them to leave a review on Tripadvisor, and explain step-by-step how they can leave this review.
- For product ideation: I host walking food tours in London. Give me a walking route that takes about three hours and goes past Big Ben and the Tower of London, stops at Borough Market, and goes to three historic pubs near these locations.
For marketing: I run a bike rental company in Seattle and write a blog about things to see in the city, especially things people can see on cycling routes. What are the most popular keywords I should be targeting with my blog posts on these topics? List these keywords in on these topics? List these keywords in order of most to least popular.
The hardest thing about using ChatGPT for your business is figuring out the right prompts to give it. AIPRM is an add-on for ChatGPT that comes with ready-made prompts specifically to help you with SEO strategy and content creation.
Use these one-click prompts to do keyword research, create buyer personas, get outlines for blog posts, and a lot more.
Learn about the future of AI tools
We’ve curated three great webinars and courses that are custom-made for experience operators.
Get an overview of AI tools, including ChatGPT, with this online course. You’ll learn how tour operators can use them to do tasks like write articles, craft Facebook ads, and create podcasts.
This webinar covers how you can use ChatGPT to create enticing tour descriptions. It includes Q&A with business coaches and ready-made prompts you can use to get the best responses from ChatGPT.
Learn how generative AI will impact the tour, activities, and attractions industries from this Arival seminar. Heads-up: You’ll need an Arival membership to gain access. (*Note: this seminar requires an Arival account to view.)
Generative AI tools like ChatGPT will change the way many of us work. For rental and activity operators, AI can help with everything from marketing to communications to idea generation for new offerings.
It can save you time and money, and be a sounding board for new ideas. But don’t believe everything it tells you. If you do start experimenting with ChatGPT or similar tools, remember to fact-check everything before sharing it with your customers.
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