AI for tourism professionals: insights to help navigate a changing landscapeMay 10, 2023
In this article you will find a blog post that I did not write but which I am free to publish as my own. Yes, it’s true. The real credit goes to ChatGPT and those who joined me in The Huddle this week.
We gathered for our monthly chin-wag style Huddle, where people come along to share what’s happening for them in the industry right now, what’s challenging and what new opportunities are presenting themselves. It’s always a good barometer of what’s going on right now on the ground and it usually yields some nugget of information you just didn’t know or hadn’t thought about before.
We found ourselves meandering through the topic of Artificial Intelligence (AI), in a pretty unstructured and conversational type way. We had a mix of people who had never used it, some who had dabbled, at least one cynic, others who had done some short courses, and yet others who were applying it to great effect within their businesses. It was a very rich and stimulating conversation.
We closed The Huddle with me receiving everyone’s permission to input our random and uncategorised contributions (based on the few notes I had taken) into ChatGPT to see what it would churn out for us.
Within 10-20 seconds, I had this 526-word article:
Unlocking the Potential: Embracing AI in Tourism
The advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) has sparked conversations and debates across industries, including tourism. Recently, a group of tourism professionals gathered to discuss the opportunities and implications of AI in their field. In this blog post, we'll delve into the key takeaways from their conversation, exploring how AI can benefit tourism businesses and the potential impact on Irish storytelling.
1. Enhancing Efficiency and Creativity
The participants acknowledged that AI, such as ChatGPT, offers the potential to work smarter, not harder. Although technology has increased our workload, AI has the power to streamline tasks, freeing up valuable time and resources. For time-poor and resource-limited tourism enterprises, AI can be a game-changer. Generating social media posts, crafting taglines and headlines, creating video scripts, and even writing manuals become more efficient with AI assistance. It empowers businesses to produce professional content, reaching wider audiences at a fraction of the cost.
2. Unleashing Authentic Experiences
As AI becomes more prevalent, the human touch in tourism becomes increasingly valuable. Authenticity and unfiltered reality are sought-after qualities, and Ireland, with its rich storytelling heritage, has the potential to provide real experiences in an increasingly virtual world. The opportunity lies in offering higher ticket items that provide an escape, disconnection, silence, and communion with nature. By focusing on the unique and immersive aspects of Ireland, tourism professionals can leverage AI to enhance storytelling and provide memorable experiences.
3. Protecting Originality and Accuracy
While AI presents numerous advantages, it's essential to be cautious of potential pitfalls. Plagiarism is a concern when relying on AI-generated content, as ChatGPT gathers information from online sources. To mitigate this risk, it is advisable to use plagiarism detection software and ask ChatGPT to provide references for the sourced information. By ensuring originality and accuracy, tourism professionals can maintain their credibility and reputation in the industry.
4. Embracing Learning Opportunities
The participants emphasized the importance of acquiring knowledge and skills related to AI. Attending tutorials and short courses on utilizing AI can equip tourism professionals with the necessary expertise to leverage its potential fully. Putting in detailed inputs and consistently fine-tuning AI-generated outputs can yield better results, whether in identifying hashtags and keywords or tailoring content to specific niches.
5. Addressing Concerns and Moving Forward
The conversation also touched upon concerns about the impact of AI on various professions, including writers, content creators, academics, and marketers. It was acknowledged that AI poses a threat to traditional roles; however, the consensus was that human creativity and the human touch remain essential differentiators. While AI can facilitate efficiency, it cannot replicate the depth, emotional connection, and nuanced storytelling that humans bring to the table.
AI presents tourism professionals with exciting opportunities to enhance efficiency, creativity, and storytelling. By embracing AI tools and technologies, tourism businesses can streamline their operations, produce captivating content, and offer authentic experiences to travelers. However, it is crucial to strike a balance between leveraging AI's benefits and preserving originality, accuracy, and the distinct human touch that sets the tourism industry apart. With the right approach and understanding, AI can be a powerful ally in shaping the future of tourism.
Not too shabby at all, eh?
Staggeringly unshabby really! On a good week, an article for The Tourism Space will take me about 4 hours to draft, review, edit and finalise. On an average week, it takes a good bit longer than that while some articles have been known to stretch over a couple of days! This one took me about 20 minutes to recall and type up the notes of what people said during The Huddle, and 20 seconds for ChatGPT to return those to me as a well-structured blog post!
What an incredible time-saver! One that in truth cannot be ignored.
That was just the start of it though. Then I found myself going down rabbit holes that I had been alerted to during our conversation. ChatGPT also provided its own helpful hints at the end of each response. Here are the areas I went through:
- I ran the article through a plagiarism checker. Grammarly told me there was one instance of plagiarism and 9 language issues. I didn't investigate further but an alarm bell there!
- I asked ChatGPT if it could produce a better headline for me, one that would perform well on social media searches. It kindly gave me 10 options and a tip to include relevant keywords to increase visibility and reach.
- Of course, I then had to ask ChatGPT to tell me what keywords to include in order to optimise the blog post for social media. In an instant, I had 20 keywords and the helpful tip to incorporate keywords naturally while providing valuable insights and information.
- I duly asked ChatGPT to re-draft the article incorporating those 20 keywords in a natural way while providing valuable insights and information. I got a new article with lots of keywords but that was now really quite different to the original and now deviated quite a way from The Huddle conversation that had inspired it.
- I asked for a list of hashtags to help discoverability online – there were 20 and I’ll be using them in the social medias posts that go with this article, thank you very much.
- Then I got a brainwave to ask ChatGPT to re-draft the article in the tone and style of Tina O’Dwyer of The Tourism Space! A new article came back promptly, again deviating a little from the original conversation and this time incorporating themes that I often write and speak about - sustainable tourism, regenerative tourism, growth, learning and development with a less objective style than the original. I have to admit that I did recognise myself in it.
- I asked it to write the LinkedIn Post that would introduce this article. It was ready in a jiffy. It’s not the one I’ve used here by the way but it was good enough to use if I had wanted to.
All in all, the whole process had taken less than an hour (without the additional writing for this article). Undoubtedly a huge time-saver and a great reference resource. However, there’s a huge ‘buyer beware’ sign going with it, particularly for any business or person who wants to build and protect their credibility and reputation. Here it is:
My final rabbit hole was to ask ChatGPT to give me the sources for the article it had created and I got this apology:
I apologize for the confusion, but as an AI language model, I don't have direct access to the internet or specific sources. The blog post I generated is based on my pre-existing knowledge and understanding of the topic as an AI trained on a diverse range of data, including articles, blogs, websites, and other text sources.
I should note that while I strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, my responses may not always reflect the most current news or developments in the industry. Therefore, it's always a good idea to consult authoritative sources and conduct additional research to supplement the information provided in the blog post.
After all the meanderings, that probably is the last word on ChatGPT by ChatGPT.
The Tourism Space™ is a leading tourism consultancy, training and professional development practice based in the West of Ireland specialising in sustainable tourism, regenerative tourism, food tourism, stakeholder engagement and networks and destination collaborations. The Huddle is an online community for tourism professionals. All are welcome. Learn more about The Huddle here.
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