ChatGPT is great as a starting point for travel and tourism content, which makes it a great customer engagement tool for companies keen to build travel interest and then reel the customer towards conversion
I most certainly sit in the laggard category within the technology sphere. Most tech innovations do not send a shiver of excitement through me, and I remain contented with my trusty circa-2015 MacBook Pro and Samsung Galaxy S21 FE (for context, the S23 was launched this February).
But when ChatGPT made the headlines last November, my ears twitched. It was a big reaction from someone like me, and the world responded even more wildly. Within two months, ChatGPT gained 100 million monthly active users, while its developer, OpenAI, became one of the 50 most visited websites in the world.
By mid-February, there were some 200 e-books on Amazon’s Kindle store that listed ChatGPT as the author or co-author. And according to a Reuters report, that number is climbing steadily. There was even a commentary on how ChatGPT was challenged to write a film – and it churned out 50 scripts in an hour.
So, I went onto OpenAI to poke around. First, I asked ChatGPT to write me a family trip for Osaka, and then an off-the-beaten-path travel plan for the same destination. The first enquiry spat out all the usual tourist landmarks. The second recommended Shinseikai District, Abeno Harukas Observatory and Dotonbori – not quite hidden gems – but it did point out a hike up Mount Koya and a temple stay as well as a bike tour and traditional tea ceremony. For first-timers to Osaka, ChatGPT could provide a useful starting point in their travel research.
Can ChatGPT take on more serious prompts? I asked for a news update on Singapore’s business events industry. Within seconds, it churned out content that mirrored latest news reports on Singapore’s busy calendar of events and pace of recovery.
For another test of accuracy, I asked it for a background of myself. It claimed I have been with the company since 1995 – which would have made me a 15-year-old worker.
Next up, can ChatGPT mimic a human writer and create content that tugs at heartstrings? I asked for a Singapore love story. That tale was bland, but Singapore Tourism Board would have been proud because the lovers found romance around the city-state’s top tourist landmarks.
My verdict is this: ChatGPT is great as a starting point for travel and tourism content, which makes it a great customer engagement tool for companies keen to build travel interest and then reel the customer towards conversion. It can help with first drafts of trend reports, destination backgrounders, ad copy and the likes. But it is not so evolved yet to be able to understand and convey the emotions that are part of travel and tourism. Nor can it be relied on for factual content without a human fact-checker.
That said, ChatGPT is still learning and developing. With the speed of tech advancement these days, who knows, it might just close those gaps and more by the time this page is printed and put in your hands.