Matador Network, an independent travel brand and publisher for “modern adventurers,” as noted in a prepared statement, amassed more than 14 million followers across social media since its founding in 2006 by Ross Borden and Ben Polansky. As of earlier this month, the company launched a personal artificial intelligence (AI) travel assistant called GuideGeek—which has already helped thousands plan and book trips in more than 15 languages.
“AI will usher in a new golden age of travel by radically changing how hundreds of millions of travelers plan, research, and book travel,” says Borden in a prepared statement. Organized in one place, GuideGeek provides options for hotels, Airbnbs, restaurants, safety information, train schedules, and even some must-know local customs. There is a built-in Q&A feature when users need additional information, and it can also create whole itineraries with an inputted prompt like “Three-day weekend itinerary for New Orleans.”
To further plan someone’s trip from start to finish, GuideGeek pulls additional travel integrations beyond ChatGPT’s baseline, including things like live flight data and the best vacation rentals in major cities worldwide. To top it all off and ensure the process still feels uniquely catered to each user, the Matador team monitors chats to train the AI to provide information as though one were speaking directly with a travel agent.
Currently, travelers can contact GuideGeek through WhatsApp for free around the globe, and other messenger platform integrations with the travel assistant are slated to launch in the coming days (such as Instagram). “For many people, finding time to plan trips is the biggest barrier to traveling more often,” Borden adds in a prepared statement. “It’s been amazing to see how fast people move down the travel-planning funnel when they get instant answers to any question they have. It’s a zero-friction environment.”