Edmonton becomes 1st Canadian city to use artificial intelligence travel tool

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Edmonton becomes 1st Canadian city to use artificial intelligence travel tool
WATCH ABOVE: Edmonton is the first Canadian city to use an artificial intelligence tool to customize a visit to the city. Emily Mertz has the details. – Aug 22, 2018

A new online tool puts everything Edmonton has to offer right at your fingertips.

Edmonton Tourism partnered with Utrip, an artificial intelligence recommendation engine for travel, which allows users to tailor a dream vacation within minutes.

The technology uses traveller’s interests and budget to sort through options including arts and culture, food and drink and “must-see” local spots.

Edmonton Tourism’s Renée Williams told 630 CHED’s The Ryan Jespersen Show it doesn’t get much more personal than Utrip.

“It tailors the itinerary to the user,” Williams said. “If arts and culture is your thing and that’s all you want to do when you get [to Edmonton] you rank that super high and then you’re going to be served up all of those opportunities.”
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The technology, which launched on Tuesday, is just as much for local and regional visitors as it is for people from around the world.

“They visit for the weekend, spend some time and check out the attractions and local hotspots and head back home when they’re done,” Williams said.

Founder and CEO of Utrip Gilad Berenstein said the technology is constantly evolving.

“Every single day a traveller uses the platform it understands them better and becomes more personal. If you go back tomorrow or next week, you will see the experience becoming even more accurate.”

You don’t need an account to get started, but there is a benefit.

“Once you’ve [created an account] it will start to serve up new itineraries and new options for you every single time you log in based on what you put in before,” Williams said.
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According to Berenstein, it seems weekend travellers are more focused on nature, food and drink-centered trips, while those staying longer are more interested in history and art.

“Traveller engagement is quite high. They dream and discover – what’s available, does it fit with my budget? Then travellers become more detailed and…they think about what type of trip they want to have,” Berenstein said.

This is the Seattle-based company’s first partnership with a Canadian city.

“The Canadian market has always been really exciting to us. Canada is a really desirable place to travel,” Berenstein said. “Edmonton is forward-thinking and innovative and decided to be our first Canadian partner, we’re very excited about it.”

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You may be seeing the technology available for other Canadian cities soon. Berenstein said his company is in talks with Calgary and Vancouver.

You can plan your Edmonton adventure here.

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