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ChatGPT for Destination Marketing: Embrace it, Sometimes

As a human writer stringing together these words, it’s difficult to get too excited about ChatGPT for destination marketing, the chatbot launched in November 2022 by OpenAI. Its alarmingly eloquent text produced by entering a prompt illustrates how far artificial intelligence has come in recent years. 

For destination marketers, ChatGPT does offer some advantages that may make day-to-day tasks easier. Like any new technology, however, it’s important to acknowledge its shortcomings before you celebrate never having to write your own thoughts again. A short tinker with it reveals that it’s far from perfect, but useful all the same for certain efforts.

Let’s consider three instances where the technology provided by ChatGPT can be a timesaver:

1. Newsletter content

When creating newsletter content pulled from existing articles and websites, ChatGPT can be a real winner. It can collect the information and pull it into quick simple text that anyone on your team can verify without much trouble. It’s a low stake application that won’t require much editing and saves your team hours researching specific destination information. Simply enter a prompt to get destination-specific text that can be copied and pasted into a newsletter template.

2. Social posts

Writing social media posts doesn’t take a long time – if you know the topic inside out. For some marketers, however, social and digital teams who are posting need to review and understand the content they are sharing, like blog posts and research reports, and that takes time. ChatGPT can do the heavy lifting by summarizing a blog post pasted into the app. Some quick editing can make the text ready to accompany the link for a social post in mere minutes.

3. Foundational information

ChatGPT can act as your personal Wikipedia of sorts, producing text about any niche topic with just a few prompts. When you need a quick report on a niche topic – like diversity efforts in a specific destination – ChatGPT can deliver, drawing from recent information available online. The report may be somewhat intro level caliber, but the ease and accuracy makes it clear why many schools are banning the tool!

Now consider the imperfections of ChatGPT for destination marketing. These instances make it clear that humans are still very much needed for certain content.


1. Original pitches

Getting the media excited about what’s new in a destination requires providing them with something truly, well, new. ChatGPT harvests the internet for its text, therefore anything it is creating is not new or fresh or unheard of – it’s decidedly been covered and published. For marketers looking to spread new ideas and information that simply does not exist yet online, ChatGPT won’t be able to help.

2. Original ideas

For anyone looking to engage in thought leadership or opinion pieces, this chatbot is not the solution. ChatGPT simply does not think for you. Again, it simply pulls from existing online content. It may seem tempting to let the bot pull together arguments and ideas for you, but remember that it’s pulling someone else’s previously published ideas, and rehashed thought leadership isn’t a great look for anyone.

3. Original quotes

ChatGPT can’t do the heavy lifting it requires to produce original quotes that marketers love to pepper into pitches and press releases, or quotes that journalists use in the stories. It can, however, email people to ask for quotes, but the results may be too much of a mixed bag to even bother with, according to one writer. Human contact still matters, and while ChatGPT can do a great job at sounding like a human, it can’t fully get into our heads and mouths to produce words that we’d want to see between quotation marks.

ChatGPT for destination marketing can be useful to generate short, quick, low stake blurbs of information, but it’s not throwing humans into the unemployment line just yet. Researching back only to 2021 and susceptible to incorrect or entirely falsified information, ChatGPT has its limits. Training staff and establishing best practices for its use, however, will help destination marketers be sure the app remains a powerful tool and not a faulty crutch that could hamper marketing efforts moving forward.

Are you feeling curious about using ChatGPT for destination marketing purposes? DCI has more than 60 years of working with destination clients to adapt to the newest technologies out there. Get in touch with Karyl Leigh Barnes at [email protected] to learn more about how DCI can elevate your marketing endeavors.

Written By

Karyl Leigh Barnes

Karyl Leigh Barnes is President of DCI’s Tourism Practice. Since joining the firm in 1998, Karyl Leigh has led destination strategy and created marketing communication programs for destinations on every continent except Antarctica.

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