Hospitality & Tourism  May 3, 2024

Visit Estes Park launches AI-based tool to aid visitors

ESTES PARK –  Visit Estes Park, the local marketing district for the tourism-dependent town at the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, has released a new tool that incorporates artificial intelligence to help visitors plan trips to the area.

The Rocky Mountain Roamer, the first public-facing result of Visit Estes Park’s work with AI, provides travelers with fast answers to their questions about lodging, restaurants, bars, things to do, travel routes, safety information and more. Developed in partnership with San Francisco-based Matador Network’s GuideGeek, the application can be accessed through a QR code that directs them to WhatsApp, Instagram or Facebook to begin planning their vacation.

The tool also allows the Visit Estes Park team to edit responses in real time, adding a human touch in combination with the AI technology.

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““Using simple, conversational prompts, Rocky Mountain Roamer provides itineraries, links to content on our website, and even links to book flights and hotels,” Kara Franker, CEO of Visit Estes Park, said in a prepared statement. “The list of features grows every day, and we hope it will soon include message delivery to visitors while they are experiencing our destination to enhance their trip even more, while also supporting our local community.”

Visitors can refer to a step-by-step video guide to learn more about how to use Rocky Mountain Roamer.

Internally, Visit Estes Park worked with New York-based content-creation agency Intentful to develop a custom tool called HappyPlaces+ for Estes Park. The tool is an internal-facing GenAI model that is tapped into ChatGPT 4. It has been trained to create SEO-optimized content — from blogs to social media posts — in Visit Estes Park’s brand voice, drawing information from VisitEstesPark.com and community partners. Using prompts and templates developed by Visit Estes Park’s internal team, the organization is already seeing increased efficiencies in its day-to-day operations.

On Thursday, Visit Estes Park released two studies on artificial intelligence and destination marketing. The AI case study details how other destinations can integrate AI technology within their organizations, and a white paper co-authored by Franker and Roxanne Steinhoff, both of whom are attorneys, covers the legal implications of AI in the travel industry.

“Artificial intelligence is no longer a trend. It’s here to stay, and we’re dialing into the movement because we want a competitive advantage,” Franker said. “As we learn more about this evolving tool, ideally, we’ll be able to provide an improved experience for anyone who visits Estes Park.”

Franker emphasized that AI won’t replace the day-to-day work her team does at Visit Estes Park, or that any other destination-marketing organization performs. Instead, she said, AI will streamline and elevate the ways in which Visit Estes Park does that work.

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