Skip to main content

Be Better Blog

Strategy & Insights

The Rise of AI Travel Planners: How DMOs Can Adapt to Attract Gen Z and Millennial Travelers

By William Crozer

May 14, 2024

ai travel planner

Think you understand how your audiences plan a vacation? Perhaps it’s time to reassess.

Recent trends compiled by Zartico in their Spring Data Trends report reveals a significant shift in how younger generations, specifically Gen Z and Millennials, approach travel planning.

The data shows that 53% of Gen Z and 57% of Millennials prefer personalized travel planning aided by AI travel planning tools. 

Zartico’s trends report comes alongside a  New York Times article about popular AI travel planners. 

This trend highlights the growing importance for travel and tourism marketing professionals to understand and adapt to the evolving preferences of these key demographics.

Personalization and Authenticity: What Gen Z and Millennials Seek in Travel

Gen Z and Millennials represent a crucial segment of the travel market, with their influence and spending power continuing to grow. 

As digital natives, these generations have grown up with technology seamlessly integrated into their daily lives. They value personalization, authentic experiences and the convenience that AI-powered tools can provide. Ignoring their preferences risks missing out on a significant portion of potential visitors and revenue.

The rise of AI trip planning tools aligns perfectly with the desires of these tech-savvy generations for personalized, efficient and immersive travel experiences. By embracing AI and integrating it into marketing strategies, DMOs can better connect with and attract Gen Z and Millennial travelers.

The recent advancements in artificial intelligence have made sophisticated, customized travel planning tools more accessible and user-friendly than ever before. 

Read on as we explore some of the leading AI trip planners and discuss how Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) can leverage this technology to enhance their marketing efforts and drive visitation from these key demographics.


Google’s AI-Powered Travel Planning Revolution

Google has integrated AI-powered features across its suite of products and services, enhancing the user experience and streamlining various tasks. From generative AI in cloud services to AI-assisted recommendations, Google is exploring responsible applications of this technology to benefit users in their daily lives and work.

Google has particularly focused on leveraging AI in travel and tourism, introducing a range of cutting-edge features designed to transform the way users plan their trips. These AI-powered planning tools streamline the planning process, offering personalized recommendations and experiences tailored to individual preferences, ultimately making travel planning more efficient and enjoyable for users.

  • AI-Generated Itineraries in Google Search: Google’s experimental AI-powered itinerary generator creates personalized travel plans based on user prompts, offering tailored suggestions for flights, hotels, attractions and dining. By leveraging data from the web and user-generated content, this feature saves time and effort in trip planning, allowing users to export and share their itineraries seamlessly.
  • Enhanced Recommendations in Google Maps: Google Maps’ enhanced recommendations feature provides curated lists of top-rated, trending and hidden gem restaurants and attractions for select U.S. and Canadian cities. By highlighting key photos and reviews, this AI-based tool offers valuable insights and recommendations from locals and trusted publishers, enabling users to make informed decisions and discover unique experiences.
  • Personalized Lists in Google Maps: Google Maps now allows users to organize and customize their saved lists, arranging them by preferences or chronology to create personalized itineraries. This feature streamlines the trip planning process, making it easier for users to plan and manage their travel activities according to their individual needs and interests.

These AI-powered features from Google demonstrate the company’s commitment to enhancing users’ travel planning experience. One key concern though, and specifically for DMOs to take note of, is the occasional inaccuracies or biases that may arise from the AI models, particularly when dealing with niche or controversial topics. 

These issues can be attributed to gaps or biases in the limited training data used to develop these still experimental AI tools, but there is an expectation of accuracy from Google that might not exist for other AI travel planners. 

As Google continues to refine and expand these AI-powered features, DMOs should stay informed about their capabilities and consider leveraging these tools to enhance their marketing efforts and provide value to potential visitors, particularly Gen Z and Millennial travelers already embracing AI in their trip planning. 

ai travel planner travel tourism

The Pros and Cons of Using ChatGPT for Trip Planning

ChatGPT, the popular AI language model by OpenAI, has shown great potential in the travel industry, assisting users in creating personalized itineraries, offering destination recommendations and answering travel queries. 

Its ability to provide instant, detailed responses and tailored suggestions based on user preferences, budget and travel dates makes it a valuable tool for travelers seeking a more customized experience. Like Google, ChatGPT is practically ubiquitous and has the highest number of active users. 

However, ChatGPT’s recommendations can lack real-world context, resulting in suggestions that don’t align with the user’s current travel plans or preferences, such as recommending budget accommodations when the user seeks a luxurious experience in a major city.

While ChatGPT and other AI tools can offer recommendations, it cannot directly book travel arrangements, leaving users to handle the booking process separately. This limitation is particularly relevant for DMOs, as the lack of direct booking capabilities through ChatGPT can lead to missed revenue opportunities, fragmented user experiences and limited data insights that are crucial for promoting their destinations effectively.

ChatGPT’s responses may contain inaccuracies due to outdated information or a lack of local insights. For example, when asked about the best spot to watch the sunset, it might suggest a popular location without considering recent changes or specific user preferences. Users should verify ChatGPT’s suggestions with reliable sources before making final plans.

Despite these limitations, ChatGPT is a powerful tool for travel planning, offering convenience and efficiency in exploring destinations and generating personalized recommendations. As the technology evolves, ChatGPT and similar AI language models are likely to play an increasingly important role in the future of travel planning. However, DMOs and users should be aware of its limitations and use it alongside other reliable sources, like official destination websites and human expertise.

Beyond Google and ChatGPT: Exploring Other AI Trip Planning Tools

While Google and ChatGPT are well-known AI trip-planning tools, they are not the only options available to travelers. Dozens and dozens of other AI-powered platforms have emerged, each offering unique features and benefits to help users plan their perfect trip.

trip advisor ai planner

TripAdvisor’s AI Trip Planner 

TripAdvisor’s AI trip planner, accessible through their website’s “Plan a Trip” section, generates custom itineraries based on user inputs such as destination, trip duration, travel dates and companions. By analyzing user preferences and leveraging TripAdvisor’s extensive database of reviews, photos and business listings, the AI curates personalized recommendations for attractions, restaurants and activities. The platform’s user-friendly interface and flexibility in modifying itineraries make it an attractive option for travelers seeking a tailored experience.

roam around ai travel planner

Roam Around

Roam Around is an AI-powered travel itinerary planner app that specializes in creating custom road trip plans. Users input their desired location and the AI generates a detailed itinerary with suggested places to visit, hotels, activities and even images of the destinations. The platform’s strengths lie in its focus on road trips, efficient routing and recommendations for points of interest along the way.

However, Roam Around’s specialization in road trips may limit its usefulness for other types of travel. Additionally, the tool may not consider all user preferences and requires manual integration with other services for booking and reservations.

out of office ai travel planner

Out of Office (OOO) App

The Out of Office app utilizes AI to create personalized travel itineraries and can make real-time adjustments based on factors like weather or traffic. The app’s unique features include a social network aspect, allowing users to connect with friends, share recommendations and collaborate on trip planning. OOO also offers tools for documenting and sharing trips with photos, reviews and notes.

However, some users may have privacy concerns about sharing personal travel details publicly, even with friends. The app’s limited user base may also impact the value of its social features and recommendations.

As AI advances and more platforms integrate these technologies, travelers can expect an increasingly personalized and efficient trip-planning experience. The growing number of AI-powered tools in ChatGPT’s GPT Marketplace and the widespread adoption of AI by OTAs and other industry players are transforming how people plan and book their trips.

Navigating the Present and Preparing for the AI-Driven Future

In the future, AI will likely act as a seamless, intelligent companion throughout the entire travel journey.

The challenge is that we’re stuck living in the present. 

DMOs and travelers should understand the limitations of AI trip planners and use them as complementary tools alongside human expertise and other reliable sources.

By leveraging the strengths of AI while remaining mindful of its constraints, travelers can unlock new possibilities and create unforgettable experiences in the ever-evolving world of travel planning.

As the travel and tourism industry continues to evolve and embrace AI technology, it’s crucial for DMOs to stay informed and adapt their strategies accordingly. 

At Noble, we understand the challenges and opportunities AI presents for the industry. Our team of experts is dedicated to helping DMOs navigate this exciting landscape and harness the power of AI to drive growth and enhance the visitor experience.Our knowledgeable team is ready to answer your questions, share insights and discuss tailored strategies to help your destination thrive in the age of AI-powered travel planning. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to engage with Gen Z and Millenial travelers – reach out to us now and let’s start the conversation.

Up Next