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A Human Approach to AI in Tourism with Andrew Davis

Is artificial intelligence a great tool for tourism businesses — or a great way to ruin relationships?

Andrew Davis believes it can be both. A former TV producer turned marketing expert and thought leader, Davis teaches audiences around the country how they can use AI in personal and authentic ways to accomplish their goals. He joins this episode of the podcast to share insights on the state of artificial intelligence, as well as the possibilities and pitfalls it poses for the travel industry.

Andrew explains how human travel professionals can work with AI to create content that is personal, effective and compelling. Plus, host Brian Jewell takes a few moments to speak from the heart about the conflict in the Middle East and how it impacts the tourism community.

Insights from Andrew Davis:

On the key to effective marketing:

“Really great marketing is about creating value for other people through the content you provide. If they fall in love with it, they’re willing to buy it.

“Content builds relationships, relationships build trust, and trust is what drives revenue…. Content has to be delivered by someone. There has to be a person you fall in love with.”

On how to think about artificial intelligence:

“Before you start, you need to gather your nuts up for your squirrel. You need to gather your favorite tour descriptions, written just the way you like them, and give them to your digital doppelganger.

“The AI is really good at mimicking. If you want it to mimic you, you have to create a nest where it can use your information and some outside information to create what you want…. Take a squirrel-sized task, take a bunch of nuts you can feed the squirrel as examples, then mold that nest using the information to produce output that is reliably yours.

On balancing AI with human relationships:

“A lot of people in your organization are using tools like ChatGPT to respond to emails, respond to customers, respond to partners you operate your tours with. It’s a great opportunity – you can be very efficient. But the risk is that when people realize they’ve been tricked by AI, they have the very same reactions as if they’ve just been tricked by a human. It’s the inverse of what you would want in any one of your valuable relationships. They feel like they’ve been cheated.”

“The solution is to make sure you’re transparent, even with clients or customers, when you’re using your digital doppelganger to help you do your work.”

Resources Mentioned in This Episode

Learn more about Andrew Davis at

Follow Andrew Davis on LinkedIn.

Key Moments From This Episode

1:49 — Brian’s thoughts on Israel, war and the tourism community

9:10 — How the Muppets taught Andrew Davis the secret to marketing

11:50 — Why human connection is the gateway to business success

15:13 — What’s really going on with AI and tourism?

19:31 — How tourism professionals can train AI for their benefit

26:24 — Using AI without breaking trust

32:56 — Balancing AI tools with human relationships

About the Podcast

Gather and Go with Brian Jewell is a tourism podcast that helps group travel leaders plan, promote and lead better trips. Each episode reaches thousands of professional tour operators, travel agents and the volunteer group leaders they serve. The audience also includes destination marketers, museum leaders, church travel leaders and other tourism enthusiasts around the world. Each show includes a featured conversation with a smart and influential travel leader. You’ll also hear travel news, road tips and more. New episodes are released about twice monthly.

You can find Gather and Go wherever your listen to podcasts or subscribe by email.

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