AI Insights: Generative AI to improve the RV rental search experience


We want to help you keep up with how brands across the travel industry are exploring – and using – generative artificial intelligence solutions from companies including OpenAI, Google and more. So we’re surveying technology professionals at leading travel brands, and we’ll be publishing their answers periodically here. 

Melissa Turner Fortenberry, chief product officer of RVshare, is the latest to offer her insights on generative AI and its impact on the travel industry.

We began working with generative AI in … The RVshare product team has just released our first ChatGPT plugin. However, our marketing has seen the benefits of using generative AI for the past few years. Content is a major part of RVshare’s SEO [search engine optimization] strategy, and AI has helped produce content at scale for destinations and transform some of our structured data into a readable narrative. 

Our current work with generative AI is focused on … creating a great RV rental search experience for those who want a virtual travel agent. RVshare is cautiously optimistic about the future of AI and excited about the opportunities to reduce friction and improve the user experience. We are closely monitoring what happens with AI privacy.

The biggest challenge for us related to generative AI is … The two most important areas that RVshare is focused on when using generative AI are protecting the privacy of our users while also providing factual information. As a two-sided marketplace for RV rentals, RVshare is matching RVs for rent by owners to any traveler looking to take an RV trip. Our RV listing content is provided by the owners themselves, making it challenging for us to balance how much information we share while keeping privacy and protection in mind. 

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First-time RV renters usually have a lot of questions ahead of their trip. We want to provide the best information possible about what to expect on their trip and to break down barriers to entry. Generative AI has huge potential to help with customer conversations, so it’s important to ensure the information provided is accurate, which can be challenging. 

For the travel industry overall, we see the most potential for generative AI in … two areas of the business: marketing and product. From content generation for the brand to supporting renters throughout the entire travel planning process and user journey, both could be supported and connected with AI. On the trip planning side, generative AI and LLMs [large language models] can act as personal travel agents by tapping into users’ personal preferences as well as past travel experiences. RV travel in particular allows so much freedom and flexibility that no two trips are the same. AI may recommend an adventurous cross-country national park tour, while another user may be suggested to rent a luxurious travel trailer delivered to a lakeside campground. 

One year from now … RVshare’s goal is to make it easier for every family to plan their next getaway and experience the unbridled freedom that comes with renting an RV.

PhocusWire’s AI Insights

Keep up with these quick updates from travel brands about generative AI such as ChatGPT and Google’s Bard.

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