Special Report: Is AI-generated travel copy a revolution or risk?

We’re all increasingly aware of the technology, but how useful is it in producing ‘content’? Jeremy Smith and Olivia Goss put the cases for and against

For: ‘If you see AI as a fad, you risk being surpassed’

Jeremy Smith is co-founder and chief executive of AI Startup incubator Neural River

Should you be using AI to write content for your travel business? Having spent the last year working in the AI industry, my view is categorically ‘yes’. But there are situations where maybe AI isn’t the best solution. Here are a few of my thoughts on the benefits of using AI to write content:

Efficiency and speed: Nothing can save you more time than AI. It’s capable of generating comprehensible and engaging articles in an instant, freeing up precious time.

Data-driven customisation: AI can analyse patterns, interests and even the emotions behind search queries, delivering personalised content every time. It’s like tailoring the perfect outfit, except the outfit is the travel guide cut to fit a consumer’s travel aspirations.

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Language capabilities: AI doesn’t just translate, it ‘localises’, capturing the colour and cadence of local dialects, idioms and cultural nuances. It’s as if your article is a chameleon, at home in any linguistic landscape.

Cost-effectiveness: Adoption of AI in content production offers cost savings that can be huge. Think of it as a multitasking wizard, able to juggle dozens of articles simultaneously, which allows for leaner budgeting.

Consistency in brand voice: AI tools can be calibrated to adhere to specific stylistic guidelines, ensuring every piece of content consistently reflects the persona of your brand.

SEO: AI has the ability to quickly adapt and recognise what SEO key terms are going to be most profitable for your business and can place focus and emphasis with these keywords in whatever it ‘writes’ about. I’m tired of hearing how “Google will penalise you if you use AI to write articles”.It’s a load of nonsense.

Google is in the market of keeping users’ eyeballs on the screen. A product we’re building at Neural River, Oxygen AI, is an AI tool that will empower writers to craft articles that read like a seasoned traveller’s diary and also hit the SEO sweet spot. It’s about blending the human touch with algorithmic intelligence, so the tech takes care of the heavy lifting in optimisation and publishing.

I strongly believe AI has its place in copywriting now and well into the future. There are still some benefits to using traditional copywriters, but I see the gap getting smaller by the day. If you regard AI as a ‘fad’, you run the risk of being surpassed by those open to these new technologies.

Against: ‘AI lacks the emotional intelligence of a human’

Olivia Goss is a travel industry copywriter

There is no doubt AI will have an impact on the way we work. However, as a copywriter, I don’t believe AI will revolutionise the writing space for the better.

It’s clear AI can be used in a multitude of industries, but using it for travel copywriting is risky. Here are some of the reasons why I believe AI cannot replace traditional copywriting:

Accuracy: Travel copy needs to be accurate and truthful. When researching a new destination, I want to read content based on real experiences of a location. Fundamentally, AI cannot produce its own real examples or reviews and, for me as a consumer, there is no trust or validity in this form of copy. I know AI can produce impressive facts and summaries. But when booking a holiday, I don’t want sugar-coating. I want to hear from location experts. Who wants to place their trust in a robot’s opinion?

Consistency in brand voice: As a copywriter, I’m very aware of the intricacies and complex thought process behind the creation of a house style. This takes time to build and maintain. While AI may produce copy faster than a copywriter, this is a risky shortcut to take. AI does not consider a brand’s audience in the same way as an emotionally intelligent human.

Creativity: Copy needs to be memorable, compelling and relatable in a saturated and competitive travel market. We are consuming more information than ever before and to compete successfully, copy needs to include tactical devices to draw the consumer in. While it is claimed AI can do this, AI produces generic and overstructured copy. In the short term, it may seem advantageous to tick a time-consuming task off a list. However, if copy is not engaging, more time could be spent trying to regain lost readership.

AI is a new tool: As a translator, AI can help convert copy into multiple languages with the click of a button. But AI is not sophisticated enough to write in the way an expert can. Knowledge and understanding of human needs are the foundation of good writing and a proofreader will be needed to fact-check AI content.

Is there a place for AI in travel? Absolutely. I predict it will have a positive impact in many areas such as reducing language barriers and improving booking systems. But I strongly believe AI will not replace traditional copywriting.

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