Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.


IDEAS: GuideGeek Launches AI-powered Travel Assistant on Instagram

12 months ago

GuideGeek, the AI travel assistant powered by Matador Network, has now launched on Instagram.

The service, which has been available on WhatsApp for some time, is now available to support Instagram savvy travelers looking for insights and advice when planning and researching their trips, with the AI assistant responding to direct messages in real-time. 

Credit: GuideGeek

In order to engage with GuideGeek on Instagram, users simply need to head to the profile, tap ‘message’ and send their query. The AI assistant will then respond directly within their messages. 

Since launch, the Instagram account has already amassed an impressive 1.3M followers at the time of writing.

According to a release from GuideGeek, the service has already ‘aided travelers all over the world, in over 32 languages, to find accommodations and restaurants, customize itineraries, learn about local experiences and tours, and much more.’

“Social media is how people get inspired these days, but planning trips to places you see on Instagram can be tedious. By integrating GuideGeek with Instagram, millions more people will now get detailed information about the places they want to go without leaving the platform they love so much,” says Ross Borden, CEO of Matador Network.

Skift Ideas uncovers the most creative and forward-thinking innovations happening across travel. We celebrate innovation through our Skift IDEA Awards and hear from leaders on our Ideas podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.


Trainline Teams With David Hasselhoff in New Celeb-Focused Marketing

1 year ago

Hotel brands are well known for their marketing partnerships with influencers and celebrities, but now one rail booking platform is getting in on the act.

Trainline has decided to team up with legendary actor David Hasselhoff to launch its Chief Conductor Contest.

A grand prize includes a $5,000 travel stipend, a two-night stay in a luxury hotel, and $2,500 in Trainline vouchers to cover rail travel across Europe — in addition to signed merchandise.

The company thinks that with European travel booming, and the U.S. dollar remaining strong, now’s the time to get The Hoff (and his 326,000 Instagram followers) onboard. 

According to data by Trainline, 33 percent of Americans are looking to travel to Europe this summer and 42 percent would be excited to travel through Europe by train to take in the landscape. But even beyond trains as a desired mode of transportation, over half of Americans are somewhat or very likely to plan elements of their vacations based on where their favorite influencers/celebrities visit.

This is where Hasselhoff comes in.

Consumers will also have the opportunity to hear his train travel tips, tricks and itineraries, as well as get a sneak peek into some of the actor’s favorite destinations.

With lots of industry players competing to win bookings, Trainline is just the latest in a handful of travel companies employing celebrity partnerships to promote their brands.

Hilton, for example, collaborated with Paris Hilton on a 10-minute TikTok video. “It’s an experiment and a bit fun,” Chris Silcock, Hilton’s chief commercial officer, said at the Skift Future of Lodging Forum recently. “We’re trying to be more culturally relevant and in the stream. We’re approaching 40 million views of the video and it’s doing well.”