Episode 1 – Unlocking Tourism Opportunities: TikTok, ChatGPT 4o Omni, and Accessibility Insights

First published on May 21, 2024
Last updated on May 22, 2024

Welcome to the inaugural episode of “Untangling Tourism Tech,” where Liz Ward and I, Fabienne Wintle, share the latest insights and opportunities for tourism operators. We’re thrilled to bring you this weekly conversation, offering a glimpse into the valuable experiences we gather from working closely with businesses like yours.

You can listen to this episode on YouTube or Spotify

TikTok: Your local council is banned from promoting your region on TikTok

One of the key discussions this week revolved around TikTok. With its rapidly growing user base, particularly among younger audiences, TikTok presents a golden opportunity for tourism operators to capture a new market. Despite the hesitations from local government associations about using the platform, tourism operators can take the lead. By leveraging hashtags and creating authentic, engaging content, you can showcase your region’s unique offerings and attract a broader audience.

However, don’t rely on councils tourism department doing TikTok for your region, they’re not allowed.

For instance, imagine a quirky video highlighting the best coffee shops in your area. No need for professional makeup or rehearsals—just hit record and share your genuine experiences. You could also create short, captivating clips showcasing hidden gems in your region, like scenic trails or local events. This approach not only humanises your brand but also taps into the authenticity that TikTok users crave.

Live Demo: Voice itinerary from ChatGPT 4.0 Omni

ChatGPT 4.o (for Omni) can now do voice itineraries. Imagine having a virtual assistant that not only responds to your queries but also curates detailed itineraries based on your location. During the demo, ChatGPT provided real-time recommendations for activities in Agnes Water and 1770, highlighting its potential as a powerful tool for tourism operators.

For example, ChatGPT suggested visiting the Paperbark Forest Walk, taking a sunset kayak tour, and enjoying fresh seafood at a local favorite. Although the Paperbark Forest Walk is currently closed, the AI’s ability to pull from various sources to create a comprehensive itinerary showcases its potential. By integrating such AI tools, tourism operators can offer personalised, up-to-date travel advice to visitors, enhancing their overall experience.

It’s not always right though (e.g. the Paperbark Forest Walk is currently closed), however imagine how much of a time-saving it can be for you…. and – on the other side of the coin – your customers will be using it.

Accessibility: Enhancing Communication

Accessibility was another hot topic. Our recent webinar and training session emphasised the importance of clear communication about accessible services. Surprisingly, many businesses offering accessible services do not adequately communicate them on their websites. By creating dedicated accessibility pages, providing FAQs, and using alt text for images, you can significantly improve your website’s usability and attract more visitors.

Consider adding photos with measurements of accessible facilities or sharing testimonials from guests who have benefited from these services. For instance, an image showing the dimensions of a wheelchair-accessible entrance can provide essential information for potential visitors. Including an FAQ section that addresses common accessibility queries can also boost your site’s search engine optimisation and make it easier for users to find the information they need.

  • 29% of operators are planning to improve their current offering to the accessible market.
  • 39% have clear communication on their website about their suitability to the accessible market
  • 52% are planning to improve communication around accessibility

Repurposing Content: Efficiency and Reach

We also discussed the importance of repurposing content. Whether it’s transforming a TikTok video into an Instagram Reel, a blog post, or even an email newsletter, repurposing ensures your content reaches a wider audience without extra effort. This strategy not only saves time but also maximizes your content’s impact.

For example, after creating a TikTok video about a local festival, you can repurpose it by embedding the video in a blog post that details the event’s history and highlights. You can then share snippets of this content on Instagram and Facebook, linking back to the full blog post. This multi-platform approach ensures that your content is seen by as many people as possible, catering to different audience preferences.

Stay tuned for more episodes of “Untangling Tourism Tech,” where we’ll continue to share our insights and experiences. Together, let’s explore new opportunities and drive success in the tourism industry.

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