Google – and all of its various search and advertising functionalities
– is a fundamental ingredient in a travel marketer’s toolkit.
And while artificial intelligence and machine learning have
been integral to Google’s offerings for years, 2023 brought a new concept to
the fore: generative AI.
Spurred by the headline-grabbing launch of ChatGPT by
OpenAI – and its subsequent meteoric rise to become one of Google’s competitors
– travel marketers have been focused on understanding how to use large language
models to work smarter, faster and more effectively.
The pace of developments has been a bit dizzying.
Google has been rolling out generative AI updates throughout
the year – starting with the launch of its Bard generative AI chatbot in March,
followed by generative
AI-powered search in May and just last week the launch of Gemini, what it
calls its “largest and most capable AI model.”
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In a discussion on Center Stage at The Phocuswright
Conference in November, Google’s industry director for travel, Susie Vowinkel, explained
some of the critical generative AI-powered functionalities the search giant
offers for travel marketers.
Used effectively, she said, the AI technology can help
marketers optimize their content and take some of the guesswork out of campaign
“What are you trying to achieve? What visual assets do you
have? And then let us try to start to automate and … deliver returns that you
are seeking out,” she said.
Vowinkel also touched on how the company aligns its work
around its “AI
Principles” and a focus on data security and privacy.
During the session, Phocuswright managing director Pete Comeau also hits on
other important industry topics with Vowinkel, including sustainability,
overtourism, Google’s travel discovery updates and how the company is sharing
its knowledge regarding generative AI with partners.
Watch the full discussion below.