AI Implementation Highlight – Tourism Kelowna’s New AI Chatbot, Kaiti

kolby milton 7EApl km9zw unsplash

Our mission at Tourism AI Network is to drive the adoption and understanding of AI in the tourism industry by providing education, fostering collaboration, and building a community of through leaders and practitioners. 

As part of this mission, we seek to highlight some of the great initiatives being undertaken by tourism industry professionals, whether those initiatives involve the Tourism AI Network or not. To this end, we were super excited to learn that Tourism Kelowna recently implemented an AI chatbot on their website, so we reached out to them to learn more about what they have implemented and what they have learned along the way. We wrote this blog to share what we learned from them in hopes that it will inspire other tourism professionals to follow Kelowna’s lead. 

Before diving into Kelowna’s example, we should mention that if you are working on an AI initiative that you want to share with your tourism colleagues, let us know as we would love to feature you as well! Reach out today to have your initiative featured.

What we really like about Tourism Kelowna’s AI powered chatbot project is that it exemplifies a strategic, high-value, low-risk approach to AI integration, which aligns well with what we teach tourism professionals in our AI Adoption Framework process. Here are some highlights from an interview we did with our friends at Tourism Kelowna. 

Tourism Kelowna’s AI Chatbot Initiative

The primary goal of the new integration was to improve visitor support by handling general inquiries 24/7. This move aligns with the broader trend of AI adoption in the tourism industry, but what sets Kelowna apart is their balanced approach. Unlike fully automated systems, their chatbot works in tandem with human agents, ensuring complex queries are handled personally.

Key Features of the Chatbot

  1. 24/7 Availability: The chatbot provides round-the-clock support, addressing common questions visitors might have, thus freeing up human agents for more specialized queries.
  2. Website Integration: The chatbot pulls information directly from the Tourism Kelowna website, ensuring accurate and up-to-date responses. This setup not only enhances user experience but also maintains the brand’s voice across interactions.
  3. Seamless Transition to Human Agents: If the chatbot cannot address a specific query, it seamlessly transfers the conversation to a live agent. This feature ensures that visitors always get the help they need, maintaining a high level of service.

Implementation Process

According to Steve Small, Digital Marketing Lead at Tourism Kelowna, the chatbot was relatively straightforward to implement; it scans the website’s content and sets up a system to manage and learn from new questions. While there was no major overhaul of the website content, the tool’s routine scans ensure ongoing updates are captured and the chatbot provides the most accurate information.

Continuous Improvement

One of the standout features of this chatbot is its ability to learn and improve. Questions the chatbot can’t answer are flagged, and appropriate responses are added to its knowledge base. This iterative process helps in refining both the chatbot’s responses and the website content, creating a beneficial feedback loop.

Transparency and User Experience

Transparency was a key consideration in the chatbot’s design. Named “Kaiti” (Kelowna Artificial Intelligence Tourism Information), the chatbot introduces itself as an AI entity, ensuring users are aware they are interacting with a machine. This transparency builds trust and sets clear expectations for the interaction.

Performance and Insights

Since its soft launch, the chatbot has been performing well, handling a wide range of inquiries effectively. Steve notes that while the chatbot excels at general questions, it has also managed to surprise the team with its accurate responses to more specific queries. The real-time data gathered from these interactions provides valuable insights, helping Tourism Kelowna improve their services continuously. With labour shortages affecting the tourism industry, tools like this chatbot can free up human resources to build more engaging tourism experiences. 

Strategic Advantages

The high-value, low-risk strategy adopted by Tourism Kelowna serves as a model for other DMOs. By starting with a manageable project and maintaining human oversight, they have minimized risks while maximizing the benefits of AI. This approach not only enhances visitor engagement but also provides actionable data to improve overall service quality.

Advice for Other DMOs

Steve’s advice for other DMOs considering similar initiatives is to explore available options and start with pilot projects. The key is to balance automation with human touch, ensuring high service standards while leveraging AI’s efficiency. By integrating chatbots that rely on existing website content, organizations can mitigate risks and gradually build a robust AI system.

Tourism Kelowna’s AI chatbot represents a forward-thinking approach in the tourism industry, combining technological innovation with strategic implementation. This project highlights the potential of AI to enhance visitor experiences while maintaining a personal touch, setting a benchmark for other tourism organizations to follow.

If you are a tourism professional looking to explore similar tools and strategies, the Tourism AI Network can help. We specialize in identifying and integrating AI solutions tailored to your needs, ensuring a seamless transition that maximizes value and minimizes risk. Get in touch with us today at Tourism AI Network to learn how we can support your AI journey and help you stay ahead in the competitive tourism landscape.

 

Skip to content