Tripping on AI
While a new app powered by artificial intelligence makes travel planning easier with instant itineraries, we wish it could account for our budgets
The traveller sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see.” The words of English writer Gilbert Keith Chesterton broadly help one define their process of travel planning. But combined with a few hot words like 'wanderlust', the two terms also become hot selling points in copywriting for hipster travel companies. That’s why when we spot Welcome, an app powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) that generates instant itineraries for over 250 cities, we’re a bit suspicious because it’s branded as a 'smart travel companion'. Then again, planning a trip isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so we might as well give this a spin.
One can log in via email or Facebook. It’s a no-nonsense process because that’s all it requires to get started. There are three tabs — My Day, Discover and Wishlist. In the first one, you can choose a city anywhere around the world or it detects your current location, which in this case is Mumbai. The itinerary is displayed here with a timeline stretching from the current time to about 2.30 am, and along the line, there are blocks with location names ranging from restaurants, fashion and craft stores, and public places like the Dadar flower market. The app functions on tips people or organisations have fed into it. And you can also add a tip or ask friends for tips by sharing a message on social media through the app.
A few bumps
You can even slide a block upwards and it will be replaced with another activity. But that is a bit problematic. For instance, when you seek to skip on going to the flower market, it replaces the activity with a trip to Atosa, a multi-designer retail store that is drastically different so it’s not a real replacement. Then — just for kicks — we decide to change our destination to Dehradun, but the page draws a blank. This is understandable considering it’s a new app that doesn’t even have a rating on App Store yet.
The last two tabs are interconnected. In the Discover tab, while you get to browse through tips, you can also add activities to your wishlist. And although we wish that there could have been a filter for budgets, the app’s interface is a definite plus point. Not only is it well-designed but the ease of navigation is commendable. So, to go back to Chesterton, is this app for travellers or tourists? We’d certainly say it suits the former better, especially those who are clueless.
Also check out
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The app tackles a tricky territory by advising you on how much to tip in restaurants, hotels or salons across 200+ countries
Log on to Welcome on App Store
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