‘Wait – let me Google that!’
We are all used to hearing these words uttered across the dinner table in response to some question, debate or discussion. The World Wide Web is a wondrous thing; a platform of powerful information and a place to go when we want our every whim, wish and desire answered.
Google Trips or On the Ground Experience?
There is an argument that perhaps, we rely on the internet and technology too much. By choosing blue screens, algorithms, and digital connections over real life encounters – are we sometimes selling ourselves short?
In the world of far flung adventures and planning travel itineraries this could be the case. Technology is now an integral aspect of the travel industry. From hotel booking to blogs, flight comparison websites, and more – there are endless apps, sites and advantages that make trip planning a breeze.
Google decided to step that up a notch recently, with the announcement that its Google Trips app now included tours and activities. On paper- or should we say screen, this could sound great – but by turning to algorithms rather than the art of experience, are travelers likely to get the best ‘on the ground’ results?
Algorithms: Real Results or Just a Game?
Google algorithms aren’t always good at cutting through the noise. If you asked the internet to point you in the direction of the best coffee shop in Paris, the search engine will crunch the numbers, scan the database, and offer you a plethora of results all tangled up in the science of SEO. Getting noticed by Google is a game, and some businesses are better at the game than others. Does this mean they are the best in their industry? No, it just means they are good at the game. There is also a lot of noise around algorithms being a biased platform.
Humans Can Answer According to Conversation
Whereas, if you asked a room of people who knew Paris intimately, where to get a decent cappuccino – you are sure to get better results. These people will be able to ask you certain questions to provide tailored results; do you want a croissant too, are you looking close to the Latin Quarter, do you want serenity beside the Seine or a bright buzzing atmosphere?
They will be able to answer according to your needs. Human opinion is also best at whispering in your ear and telling you all about those hidden gems – the coffee shop tucked behind Montmartre that does the flakiest pain au chocolate in town. The one owned by that 80-year-old Parisian who was a former ballerina and doesn’t have a website but will linger for hours over a cup of frothy cappuccino and talk to you.
Travel: Complex Emotion Not Big Data Trends
Trip planning isn’t something to take lightly. Whatever the occasion; a wellness retreat, an escape to the sun, a family reunion – time, love and money has been put aside for it and these sacrifices should be honored without relying on cookie cutter results. Each person planning a trip is often looking for something emotionally complex and specific to meet their needs and leaving it to a robot to problem solve may not deliver the most personalized results.
Human Solutions for Human Problems
Something the algorithms also miss is the seamless art of travel planning. From missed connections to whether a tour is good for small children, or if a restaurant can cater for allergies – all these sticky points can be solved in a simpler fashion when you have a real life human being helping you to navigate the waters.
Traveling is all about stories, discovery, and rare connections. Google algorithms are all about results, big data, and trends. When planning a one of a kind trip which would you prefer to rely on?
For those looking for a more emotionally tailored solution, check out YouLi’s marketplace for real trips curated by real people.
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