So you want to be an AI travel agent? Marking ChatGPT's homework

So you want to be an AI travel agent? Marking ChatGPT's homework

Amid all the hype of ChatGPT's meteoric rise to fame and claims that it will one day be capable of organising users' travel plans, Travolution put the pioneering Microsoft partner to the test

Web 3.0 evangelists talk about the moment when emerging next-gen internet technology will ‘cross the chasm’ into mainstream consumer usage and what might prompt that.

They point to the launch of the iPhone in 2007 as the critical catalyst that saw Web 1.0 make way for the Web 2.0 era and mass adoption of personal, mobile, connected devices.

The astonishing rise of OpenAI’s intelligent natural language chatbot, ChatGPT, into public consciousness in recent may not be the equivalent landmark for Web 3.0.

But it does demonstrate how quickly adoption curves operate in a digital world in which virality means your product or service can attain global acclaim, or condemnation, in days.

For travel, it’s been notable how expert commentators on ChatGPT, and Google’s Bard which had a less than auspicious start, have cited booking a holiday as a likely use case.

Here’s what Soma Somasegar, managing director of investment firm Madrona, who previously worked at Microsoft heading up development, told BBC Radio4’s Today programme last week. 

“You have the ability to type in a query in natural language, spoken English, up to 1,000 characters, to really express intent of what you are looking for and what you want to do.

“You are no longer bound by keywords and constantly trying to figure out what Google is optimising for and how you get to the right keyword. 

“Instead, you can say I want to plan a vacation for my family, I want to find the best Mexican restaurant in my town and I want to get a reservation by this weekend.

“You can express your intent and Bing will work with OpenAI, with ChatGPT, with all the latest and greatest logic language models to find that information for you on the web. 

“Businesses have to rethink how they continue getting the right level of traffic to their site or property when people are searching for that. 

“The thing that is going to be different is people are going to use natural language but from a business perspective if they have the right context for their business and services on their website then Bing will automatically pick -it up through OpenAI’s technology.” 

Now that Microsoft has released ChatGPT into the wild, integrating it with Bing and other services, we thought we’d put its travel credentials to the test.

Below we’ve marked ChatGPT’s homework for responses generated from eight travel-related requests we inputted this week. Our conclusion: Real human travel agents need not worry – yet.

Request One

Please recommend the best cruise line for a family of five consisting of two adults and three children under the age of 13


When it comes to cruise lines, there are several options that are great for families with young children. Here are a few popular choices that come to mind:

  1. Disney Cruise Line: Disney Cruise Line is a family-focused cruise line that offers a wide range of activities, entertainment, and dining options. There are several ship options to choose from, and all offer dedicated spaces for kids and teens, as well as adults-only areas.
  1. Royal Caribbean International: Royal Caribbean International is known for its large, innovative ships and wide range of activities for all ages. There are several ships in the fleet with features such as water parks, ice-skating rinks, rock climbing walls, and mini-golf courses, making it a great choice for families.
  1. Carnival Cruise Line: Carnival Cruise Line is a budget-friendly option for families with a fun, upbeat atmosphere. Carnival offers a variety of ships with features such as water parks, ropes courses, and mini-golf, as well as a wide range of children's programs.
  1. Norwegian Cruise Line: Norwegian Cruise Line offers a wide range of itineraries and ships, and is known for its "Freestyle Cruising" approach, which provides a more relaxed atmosphere with fewer set schedules and formal dress codes. There are also a variety of kids' clubs and activities, making it a great choice for families.

No matter which cruise line you choose, be sure to research the specific ship you're interested in and what activities and amenities are available for families with young children.


“Comes to mind”? this thing thinks it has a mind! Most agents worth their salt would be able to come up with these generic options in their sleep. Tick for avoiding the cardinal sin of calling cruise ships ‘boats’. Not clever enough to know the request was coming from the UK so failed to suggest market leader P&O Cruises. Not a bad start, something to build on.



Request Two

We are a couple in our fifties and we want to go on a Mediterranean holiday this summer to experience authentic local culture and cuisine and also to spend time relaxing in the sun and hiking in the countryside.


That sounds like a great idea! The Mediterranean region is known for its rich culture, history, beautiful scenery and delicious food. Here are a few destinations that you might consider:

Greece: With its picturesque villages, stunning beaches and scenic hiking trails, Greece offers a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. Some of the must-visit destinations include Athens, Santorini, and Crete.

Italy: From the rolling hills of Tuscany to the scenic Amalfi Coast, Italy is a perfect destination for foodies, history buffs and beach-goers alike. Be sure to visit the cities of Rome, Florence, and Venice for a dose of art, culture and history.

Spain: From the bustling streets of Barcelona to the charming coastal towns of Costa Brava, Spain offers a diverse array of experiences. Make sure to try the local cuisine, including paella and tapas, and visit the famous Alhambra palace in Granada.

Portugal: With its charming villages, stunning coastline and delicious food, Portugal is a great destination for those seeking a relaxed and authentic Mediterranean experience. Some must-visit destinations include Lisbon and the Algarve region.

No matter where you go, you're sure to have a fantastic time and create lasting memories. Enjoy your holiday!


Like the chatty salutation and payoff, but you’d be disappointed if the office intern came up with these fairly generic recommendations. Irritating overuse of the exclamation mark - a foible of US English grammatical conventions!!!



Request Three

I'd like you to suggest an itinerary for a seven-night trip to Andalucia during the summer Andalucia, the southern region of Spain, is famous for its rich history, culture, and stunning natural beauty. 


Here is an itinerary for a seven-night trip to Andalucia that you might find enjoyable:

Day 1: Arrival in Seville

  • Arrive in Seville, the capital of Andalucia, and check into your hotel.
  • Take a stroll around the city center and explore the Plaza de España, the Royal Alcázar of Seville, and the Seville Cathedral.
  • Enjoy a traditional Spanish dinner and some Flamenco music in one of the city's local restaurants.

Day 2: Seville

  • Visit the famous Real Fabrica de Tabacos, a former tobacco factory that has been converted into a cultural center.
  • Explore the lively Triana neighborhood and discover its unique ceramics, flamenco bars, and charming streets.
  • Enjoy a boat trip along the Guadalquivir River and admire the city's landmarks from the water.

Day 3: Seville to Cordoba

  • Take a train to Cordoba, a city famous for its rich cultural heritage.
  • Check into your hotel and take a stroll around the old city center, including the Mezquita, a mosque-cathedral, and the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos, a former palace and fortification.
  • Visit the colorful flower-filled patios of Cordoba, famous for the Andalucian patio contest held every spring.

Day 4: Cordoba to Granada

  • Take a train to Granada, a city famous for the Alhambra, a stunning palace and fortress complex.
  • Check into your hotel and spend the afternoon exploring the city's vibrant street life, including the lively Albaicín neighborhood and the bustling street markets.
  • In the evening, visit the Mirador de San Nicolás for a panoramic view of the city and the Alhambra.

Day 5: Granada

  • Spend the day exploring the Alhambra, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and admire its intricate architecture, gardens, and courtyards.
  • Visit the Generalife, a palace and garden complex within the Alhambra, and enjoy its lush greenery and tranquil fountains.
  • In the evening, enjoy a traditional Andalucian dinner and enjoy some Flamenco music.

Day 6: Granada to Málaga

  • Take a train to Málaga, a city known for its beaches, history, and art.
  • Check into your hotel and take a stroll around the city center, including the Roman Theatre and the Alcazaba, a Moorish castle.
  • Visit the Picasso Museum, dedicated to the famous artist who was born in Málaga.

Day 7: Málaga

  • Spend the day at the beach and relax in the sun or try some water sports.
  • Visit the Automobile and Fashion Museum, showcasing some of the finest classic cars and fashion collections.
  • In the evening, enjoy a seafood dinner in one of Málaga's charming seafood restaurants.

Day 8: Departure

  • Take a flight back home or continue your journey elsewhere.

I hope this itinerary provides you with a good starting point for your trip to Andalucia and that you have a wonderful time exploring the region!


Not bad. Lacking in detail, and interesting that it assumes rail would be the mode of transport of choice but then offers little detail about the services available. Great news for slow/eco travel exponents, not so good if you’re Avis or Hertz. Something to build on. American spellings!!!!!!



Request Four

What are the best things to do on a city break in Valencia?


Valencia is a beautiful and vibrant city located on the east coast of Spain. There are many interesting things to do and see on a city break in Valencia. Some of the best activities to consider include:

Visit the City of Arts and Sciences: This futuristic cultural and architectural complex is a must-visit for anyone visiting Valencia. The complex features several notable buildings, including the Hemisfèric (an IMAX theater), the Principe Felipe Science Museum, and the Oceanogràfic (Europe's largest oceanographic park).

Explore the historic center: The historic center of Valencia is a maze of narrow streets and charming squares, filled with beautiful buildings and monuments. Some of the most notable sights include the Central Market, the Cathedral of Valencia, and the Plaza de la Reina.

Walk along the Albufera: The Albufera is a beautiful natural park located just outside Valencia, famous for its lakes and wetlands. Visitors can take a boat tour of the park, go birdwatching, or simply relax and enjoy the scenic views.

Enjoy the local cuisine: Valencia is famous for its rich culinary tradition, and there are many delicious local dishes to try. Some of the most popular specialties include paella (a rice dish), horchata (a sweet drink made from tiger nuts), and Valencian oranges.

Visit the beach: Valencia has a long sandy beach that is perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and soaking up the Mediterranean sun.

Take a stroll through the Jardines del Turia: These beautiful gardens were once the riverbed of the Turia River, which was diverted after a flood in the 1950s. The gardens now offer a peaceful green oasis in the heart of the city, with walking and cycling paths, playgrounds, and picnic areas.

These are just a few of the many things to do and see in Valencia, but they should give you a good starting point for your city break.


Not exactly Lonely Planet, but it’s a start. Center or centre?  



Request Five

Who would you recommend a holiday in Dubai to?


I am an AI language model and do not have personal opinions, but I can provide you with some information that may help you determine who might enjoy a holiday in Dubai.

Dubai is a city that offers a unique blend of modern luxury and traditional Arabic culture. With its world-famous skyscrapers, luxurious shopping, and state-of-the-art entertainment options, Dubai is a popular destination for those who enjoy a vibrant city life. 

Some of the most popular tourist attractions in Dubai include the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, the Dubai Fountain, the Dubai Mall, and the Dubai Miracle Garden.

Dubai is also a popular destination for adventure seekers, with a range of outdoor activities including dune bashing, skydiving, and indoor ski slopes. The city is also home to several beautiful beaches, making it a great destination for sun-seekers.

In conclusion, Dubai may be a good choice for travelers who enjoy luxury, city life, and adventure, as well as for those who are interested in experiencing a unique blend of modern and traditional culture.


Neatly dodged the question by refusing to have an opinion, so some way to go before it can be used as a recommendation engine. The rest is pretty basic and not particularly inspirational.  ‘Travelers’ – more marks deducted for American spelling.  



Request Six

We want to go on a long-haul family holiday of a lifetime to a bucket list destination. We live in the UK and have a budget of £25,000. Please give us five suggestions.


With a budget of £25,000, you have a lot of options for a long-haul family holiday of a lifetime. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

Australia: With its diverse landscapes, world-renowned beaches, and unique wildlife, Australia is a bucket list destination for many families. You can spend time in Sydney, visit the Great Barrier Reef, and explore the Outback.

Japan: For a cultural adventure, consider a trip to Japan. Visit Tokyo, Kyoto, and Hiroshima, and take in the country's rich history, beautiful gardens, and delicious cuisine.

Hawaii: With its stunning beaches, lush rainforests, and breathtaking natural wonders, Hawaii is a popular choice for families looking for a tropical adventure.

Costa Rica: For a eco-adventure, consider a trip to Costa Rica. With its diverse wildlife, lush rainforests, and stunning beaches, there's something for everyone in this Central American paradise.

South Africa: For a safari experience, consider a trip to South Africa. You can see the Big Five (lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and buffalos) in their natural habitat and enjoy the country's vibrant culture, delicious cuisine, and stunning landscapes.

Remember, these are just a few suggestions, and the best destination for you and your family will depend on your individual preferences and interests.


Appears to have a grasp of budgets and that given it had little information on preferences to work with understands its answer is only a start. Did it suggest anything particularly surprising that wouldn’t be on most people’s shortlists? 



Request Seven

We're a bunch of friends from university looking for a cheap summer holiday somewhere in Europe and a short flight from Manchester. We just want to relax on a beach, stay in a nice hotel, and enjoy the night life. Are there any travel companies you would recommend?


As a language model AI, I don't have personal experiences or opinions but here are some popular travel companies that offer affordable summer holidays in Europe:

  1. Tui
  2. easyJet Holidays
  3. Thomas Cook
  4. On the Beach
  5. Ryanair Holidays
  6. Jet2 Holidays
  7. Expedia

These companies offer a range of options for beach holidays and packages that include flights and accommodation. You can compare prices and find the best deal that suits your budget and preferences.


Again seeks to distance itself from having an opinion and the list is really just the usual suspects. The challenge will be for smaller brands to get in on the act and make sure AI chatbots recommend them. Goodbye SEO, hello AI prompt optimisation. 



Request Eight

Write me a description optimised for search engines of the city of Ljubljana for a travel website that sells holidays to people who enjoy culture, history and local cuisine.


Ljubljana is the vibrant and culturally rich capital of Slovenia, offering visitors a unique blend of history, culture, and local cuisine. 

This city is a perfect destination for travelers who enjoy exploring and experiencing new cultures, and is a must-visit for anyone interested in the history of Central Europe. 

With its rich history and stunning architecture, Ljubljana provides a perfect backdrop for a holiday of discovery and adventure. 

From the famous Ljubljana Castle to the beautiful Tivoli Park, there are many landmarks and attractions to visit, making this city a perfect place to stay for a few days or longer. 

In addition to its cultural and historical offerings, Ljubljana is also known for its fantastic local cuisine. 

The city is home to a range of traditional Slovenian restaurants and cafes, where you can sample local specialties such as Kranjska klobasa and potica, as well as enjoy a delicious cup of coffee or glass of wine. 

Whether you're looking for a cultural holiday, a gastronomic adventure, or simply a relaxing break, Ljubljana is the ideal destination, and is sure to leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.


Probably the best use case for travel companies using ChatGPT currently. Yes, it’s generic text, no it’s not particularly enlightening, but it was generated in seconds. Bad news for junior copywriters, good news for smaller brands needing content in volume that Google likes. Worth passing it through an AI plagiarism checker before publishing so Google’s algorithms are fooled into thinking it’s all your own work