Artificial Intelligence (AI) has rapidly become one of the most exciting and fast-changing technologies in recent years that has many potential uses in different industries. One of the industries that is seeing big changes as a result of the widespread adoption of AI is the travel & tourism industry.

From tailored recommendations and real-time translation services to on-point content for travel companies, AI is revolutionising the way travellers plan, book and experience their trips and nonetheless the way tour and activity operators can automate many manual tasks, stay relevant and improve customer service.

So, what is ChatGPT?

In a nutshell ChatGPT is a free platform that’s in partnership with OpenAI and Microsoft and arguably the first public-facing instance of AI to truly go viral. ChatGPT has the potential to revolutionise many aspects of the modern business world, including the travel & tourism sector.

While other use cases for AI to continue to make an impact, especially in automation, this example of Generative AI can potentially take things to the next level for tour and activity operators worldwide.

The way we should see ChatGPT is that essentially this AI tool is a supercharged chatbot that boasts the ability to produce a wide variety of written content, including social media copy, blogs or articles, emails, case studies, website copy or even video scripts. New travel products that would usually take weeks to plan and execute are now created in mere seconds with ChatGPT.

ChatGPT in the travel & tourism industry

Why should tour and activity operators pay attention to Generative AI & ChatGPT?

It’s fair to say that ChatGPT has rattled the business world, with more than 1 million unique users collected in its first week online and a high likelihood that it’s the number 1 topic on you LinkedIn feed right now. And just as the tourism industry is taking a collective breath after the disruption caused by covid, several travel professionals like yourself might be worried over this technological advancement and whether it’s going to do more harm than good.

One of the things that makes this chatbot stand out is how detailed and human-like its responses are. Unlike other chatbots, ChatGPT will openly and eloquently answer questions about religion, write poems, give advice, and write essays. Let’s look in detail at how Generative AI and ChatGPT are disrupting the industry and what you should have in mind when looking at integrating AI as part of your operations.

ChatGPT will change how people discover and plan travel

AI has the potential of removing numerous interface layers such as: TikTok influencer videos, fancy booking widgets, travel blogs, carefully crafted tour description pages or even online travel agency (OTA) website that travellers would normally go through to discover and plan their trips. You might wonder how?

All that information can easily be disseminated, processed, and translated by AI in seconds. Which could mean that people could be looking for information about tourism activities and travel in general not through a Google search or an OTA but straight through a system like ChatGPT. Ultimately that’s where both the threat and opportunity lie for travel and tour activities.

Can travellers really find activities and experiences through ChatGPT?

The important piece here for tour and activity operators is to understand what happens to your business and how will people find your experiences if travellers do turn to discovering and planning their trips through ChatGPT.

Let’s look at a first example. I asked ChatGPT to recommend some tour ideas and tour companies in Iceland that I could easily book some experiences with.


ChatGPT used to plan a trip in Iceland

Not only that ChatGPT is able to put a list of suggested tours together, but it also informs me who I could book with.

Still unsure of the power of ChatGPT? Let’s look at another example where I asked ChatGPT to tell me what the must-see attractions in Rome are and some tour companies that I could eventually book with.

Here are the must-see attractions suggested by ChatGPT:

ChatGPT used to plan a trip in Rome

And here are the top recommended tour companies that I could book with:

ChatGPT used to plan a trip in Rome

And my last example on how ChatGPT + contextual search will revolutionise the way travellers research, plan and book their trips is this: I have asked ChatGPT to tell me how much a beer tour in Belgium costs and what tour companies are providing this experience.

ChatGPT used to plan a trip in Belgium

Should I use ChatGPT to build content pieces & travel products?

Various enthusiasts of ChatGPT in travel suggest that content creation is something that AI can effortlessly generate, however we strongly advise you still have a dedicated content team that simultaneously work with Generative AI to produce content. Although ChatGPT can create a wide variety of content pieces, we recommend that you do not use it for all of your website content needs.

In other words, even if Generative AI starts taking over, conventional search such as Google Things To Do will continue to exist in parallel and it’s not going to go away anytime soon.

So how do you actually get seen by ChatGPT’s contextual search? You’ll need to create original, genuine content that showcases your expertise in tours and activities as part of your SEO strategy. As ChatGPT is used more and more for content creation, the value of well-thought out, human-led content will increase significantly.

Bókun Tip: Here are some content examples that ChatGPT can help you with:

➡️ Analyse customer emails to identify frequently asked questions. Take those frequently asked questions and ask ChatGPT to help you polish them.

➡️ Creating succinct product summaries such: as descriptions for attractions, locations or overall destinations. You can use the content ChatGPT provides as the basis of the description, then play with it to highlight the key features that will capture your travellers attention while adding a human touch to it.

➡️ Generate topics and themes for your wider content strategy. Avoid using ChatGPT for long-form type of content. If you really want AI to help with content writing we recommend using tools like: , or Wordtune that are specifically designed to support your marketing & sales unit and have a wide variety of templates you can choose from. templates available

You don’t want to be left behind

Travel Industry consultant Peter Syme says: “By the end of the year, you won’t be able to tell the difference between human production and AI production”.

Considering that ChatGPT’s content production power is available to every single tourism business, from a hotel to a tour operator to the most prominent companies, we think tour & activity operators should start adopting Generative AI quickly and not lag to ensure biggest advantage.

‘’Operators who are slow to adopt generative AI in their day-to-day operations risk getting left behind by their more forward-thinking competitors’’ says Marc Mekki , Tour Operator turned strategic innovation advisor in an interview for Arival .

Despite its current flaws or weaknesses, we’re expecting the adoption of generative AI to be much quicker than the shift to the internet. You don’t need to become a techie, but you will want to pay close attention and be constantly aware of what are the current & future developments of generative AI and nonetheless ChatGPT.

To consider: ChatGPT has 2 pricing tiers, the Free Plan & ChatGPT Plus starting at $20/month. We would recommend you start your Generative AI journey with the Free Plan as it’s a very low-risk environment to experiment with.

ChatGPT subscriptions

Is ChatGPT replacing the human connection?

No, AI technology like ChatGPT is not better than a human in offering a personal touch and connection especially in the travel and tourism industry. While ChatGPT has the ability to provide tailored recommendations based on data and customer preferences, it also lacks the empathy and emotional intelligence that actual human travel agents possess.

Human interaction and personal relationships are the key pillars of the travel sector, and AI technology will not be able to replace the unique and personal interaction that a human can provide.

However, AI technology can easily complement and support the work of a human tour operator by providing key insights, offering 24/7 availability, and automating those daunting manual tasks.

It can sound counter – intuitive, but ChatGPT is actually about human communication, as we are given powerful technology to remove certain barriers. But the personal touch that a human provides is an essential aspect of the travel industry and cannot be replicated by AI technology.

Bókun Tip: How to use ChatGPT for your tour & activity business:

Let’s briefly outline the ways ChatGPT can help tour and activity operators:

1. Making human jobs easier

ChatGPT can automate a series of routine tasks.

2. Personalised recommendations

ChatGPT can use data and customer preferences to provide travel recommendations with the ultimate goal to help operators drive more bookings.

3. Customer service

ChatGPT can gather frequently asked questions and even respond to them. Which in the long term can improve customer satisfaction and reduce response time.

4. Market trends and insights

ChatGPT can analyse data to provide real-time market trends and insights, which can help you with making better informed decisions.

5. Streamlining processes

ChatGPT can integrate with existing systems to effectively streamline processes and improve the efficiency of your business.


ChatGPT is not here to replace you, however it does have the ability to extend your human capabilities. We know change is a scary thing, but we need to embrace it and make the most it. With that being said, the best way to start is to try out ChatGPT for yourself.

Create a login and start experimenting with prompts. Have a look at how a traveller can plan a trip using contextual search and take notes of everything, including its limitations. By understanding what ChatGPT is capable of, you as a tour operator can determine what differentiates you from this new technology, stay relevant and use it to your advantage.

And while you are still figuring out how to use Generative AI, peak season is just around the corner, which means it’s time to start preparing for the new wave of travellers.

Why? Data shows that the travel and tourism industry is expected to generate 10.8% of global GDP in 2023. That’s a whopping $10.3 trillion!

You might be thinking w
hat does this actually mean for me? Well, travel is officially back and so you should definitely want to capitalise on this growth!

How? Start by optimising your website and preparing your products to capture the new demand, and you can be sure to get your slice of the pie.

👉 Download The Ultimate Website Peak Season Checklist packed with Bókun Marketing tips to help you navigate through the world of digital marketing to ensure continuous growth.