Can the new artificial intelligence software’s travel recommendations be taken as gospel? Perhaps yes, but for now, let’s leverage the power of the human instead of the alternate human.
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Air India has become the latest entrant to hop on to the bandwagon of ChatGPT. Doing away with an outdated manual pricing system, the airline announced recently that it would be shifting to an algorithm-based software for setting airfares to extract more revenue from each flight. Its modern revenue management software continuously anticipates where people want to visit and how much each flyer is willing to pay, rather than the old method of having one fare for each block of seats — thereby ensuring higher revenue per flight. The airline will reportedly use GPT4 — the latest version of the revolutionary chatbot — to improve the FAQ section, pilot briefings, and more. Speaking at an event recently Air India CEO Campbell Wilson said that the use of the chatbot will not be “gimmicky”, but will be to actually enhance the airline’s functions. Last month, Air India partnered with cloud-based software company Salesforce to transform its customer experience. In another wheel of change under its new owner Tata, Air India is also testing ChatGPT to replace paper-based practices. “Frankly the system is almost so bad it’s good,” Wilson said, adding that this offered the chance to start from scratch rather than “jury-rig” existing architecture. The Tata Group is also integrating the Tata-related airlines, with the merger of Vistara with Air India and the integration of low-cost carriers Air India Express and AirAsia India. As part of its expansion plans, the Tata-owned airline last month had placed a record deal of 470 aircraft — 250 from European planemaker Airbus and 220 from U.S. aircraft manufacturer Boeing — at a list price of over $70 billion.
India was the second highest international market for Singapore in 2022 with 686,000 Indians visiting the country. “The Indian market is an important source for our cruise industry,” S Iswaran, transport minister of Singapore told news agency Press Trust of India. Indian tourists were also the second-highest spenders in Singapore after Indonesia and Australia in the first nine months of 2022. “As we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, Singapore’s cruise industry is recovering well in tandem with global travel. Last year, a total of 1.2 million passengers passed through Singapore’s ports, which is about two-thirds of pre-pandemic levels,” said Iswaran.
Goa Tourism, in partnership with Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) India Chapter, will organize its first-ever roadshow across Europe starting on April 18 from Frankfurt. The roadshow will then move to Zurich on April 20, Vienna on April 24, finally concluding in Paris on April 26. The roadshow aims to position the coastal state as a safe and all-around tourist destination by showcasing a wide range of ongoing tourism offerings such as offbeat, ecotourism, sustainable, and hinterland tourism. A key highlight will be the potential business meetings that government officials and sellers from Goa will hold with industry experts and vendors from European markets.
Amid increasing airfares, the state of Kerala has made a request to the central government to permit additional or chartered flights to operate in the international sector starting from the second week of April. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to direct the civil aviation ministry to give necessary approvals for additional or charter flights booked by the state and also drew Modi’s attention to the hike in airfare in the past two months. He requested that the central government “proactively” intervene and initiate negotiations with airlines operating in the India-Gulf sector to ensure they do not adopt an exorbitant pricing strategy during festivals and school vacations. Urging the prime Minister’s intervention, he said these rates are unaffordable for many, particularly migrant workers.
World’s highest railway bridge over the Chenab river — at a height of 359 meters — in the north Indian territory of Jammu and Kashmir is set to get operational soon for rail traffic. The arch bridge, which is 35 meters taller than Paris’ Eiffel Tower, is a dream project worth $4.2 billion. Jammu and Kashmir will get the bridge after two decades of waiting since the project was approved in 2003. To make the bridge ready for commissioning, the authorities confirmed that all mandatory tests to check its stability and safety have been conducted successfully.
The Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board (MPTB) is deliberating on a master plan to develop tourism villages, homestays and build basic amenities for tourists at Kuno National Park. The board is working on a plan to develop different kinds of activities under responsible and rural tourism by involving local stakeholders and partnering with private travel tour operators to design thematic packages for wildlife lovers. “Kuno is going to be a new wildlife destination for cheetah lovers. We have prepared a comprehensive master plan and are looking at the possibilities of developing tourism and allied activities. We are deliberating on a scientific way of developing the whole area with all basic amenities,” Sheo Shekhar Shukla, principal secretary for Madhya Pradesh tourism, told an Indian daily.
The Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation — which acts as a facilitator for film productions in the Indian capital — has reported that it has received 52 applications for film and web series shoots since the Delhi Film Policy 2022 was introduced last May. Under the policy, a single-window e-film clearance portal has been created to bring over 20 agencies that grant the various approvals related to film production. The government has facilitated 13 film and web series shoots since the policy’s implementation, including two Hollywood films. Dilli Haat-INA, Chandni Chowk and Connaught Place are among the most sought-after locations for film and web series shoots in Delhi. The policy aims to promote “artistic, creative and cultural expression to brand Delhi as a vibrant film shooting destination by easing approval processes for movie shooting,” an official said.
Virgin Atlantic has expanded its codeshare with Indian low-cost carrier IndiGo by adding more cities under the coverage. Customers will now be able to book one ticket which allows them to connect seamlessly to London and beyond from destinations such as Varanasi, Srinagar, Goa Mopa and Lucknow through Delhi and Mumbai, the airline said in a statement. In total, the partnership is adding 18 destinations to its existing portfolio making it a total of 34 destinations. “By combining IndiGo’s vast network with Virgin Atlantic’s three daily services between India and the UK, we offer a range of connections to and from India’s most popular destinations,” said Alex McEwan, country manager of South Asia at Virgin Atlantic.
Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai has laid the foundation stone for a 1.82 mile-long ropeway project that will connect India’s Silicon Valley Bengaluru to popular tourist destination Nandi Hills located on the city’s outskirts. The journey from the foothill to the top of Nandi Hills via the proposed ropeway — that can transport 1,000 people per hour — would take an estimated 15 minutes. Karnataka Tourism has signed an agreement with Dynamicx Ropeway to build the ropeway under the public-private partnership model at a cost of $114 million. Bommai hailed the ropeway as an eco-friendly means of transportation that will also offer visitors an aerial view of the scenic location.
Oyo-owned wedding venue marketplace Weddingz.in announced that it has partnered with India’s mid-market hotel chain Lemon Tree Hotels to boost banquet revenue, whilst driving demand and sales. The alliance is expected to help increase the order fulfillment rate of banquets and event spaces in Lemon Tree venues, in more than 40 destinations across the country, including Delhi, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Bhubaneswar, Mumbai and Pune. As part of the partnership, Weddingz would craft targeted campaigns and undertake search engine marketing and performance marketing campaigns to drive higher interest. Weddingz.in will also assign a dedicated venue manager who will provide end-to-end services for the customer, such as event management services, assistance with vendor requirements, venue recce and on-ground support during the event, a statement from the company read.
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Tags: air asia, air india, airbus, aviation, bengaluru, Boeing, chatbots, chatgpt, cruise industry, goa tourism, india, indigo, kashmir, kerala, madhya pradesh, oyo, pata, salesforce, singapore, skift india report, virgin atlantic
Photo credit: Air India is shifting to algorithmic pricing to ensure higher revenue per flight. Aiel