TechDogs-"Social Trip Planner Pilot Wants To Use AI To Make Travel Planning A Breeze!"

Emerging Technology

Social Trip Planner Pilot Wants To Use AI To Make Travel Planning A Breeze!

By TD NewsDesk

TD NewsDesk

Updated on Fri, Sep 29, 2023

Overall Rating
Hey, we bet you’re planning your vacation at the end of the year already. If so, Pilot is looking to be your new AI-powered travel buddy - ready to plan, book and share your next journey!

According to Enterprise App Today, the value of the global generative AI in the travel market will increase from USD 571.9 million in 2022 to USD 2,919.5 million by 2032, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.2% between 2023 and 2032!

So, it's hardly surprising that Vancouver's Pilot, a travel planning startup, seeks to connect people through travel and position itself as "the hub of the global travel experience." To achieve this goal, Pilot is developing a comprehensive AI- driven social trip-planning platform to facilitate the discovery, planning, booking and sharing of travel experiences between friends and family. The company, which was recently featured at TechCrunch Disrupt 2023 in San Francisco, is a member of the current Battlefield 200 cohort.

Connor Wilson, the CEO and founder of Pilot, is a serial entrepreneur who had the concept for the company in 2019 while backpacking through Europe. In 2022, when the app was still in beta, it attracted 5,000 users without any intentional promotion. That number has grown to over 20,000 recently, again without any advertising. According to Wilson, Pilot's rapid adoption rate can be attributed to the fact that it addresses an unmet need.
“The traditional approach [of travel planning] is very siloed, rigid and surprisingly has no element of social connection that is a big part of traveling,” he said in an interview. “So, we’re starting from the travelers’ perspective and embracing collaboration and personalization from the technical side.”

Pilot is more like “building consumer software with social functionality, closer to Google Docs, Notion and Strava than Facebook.”

“Users are not meeting new people via the Pilot app in a blind fashion. They control who they share their plans with,” Willson said. “Our platform gives them tools to help them connect with and collaborate with their friends, family, and partners through travel.”

So, How Exactly Does Pilot Work?

Pilot is an affiliate platform, meaning that it does not charge its users anything but instead receives a commission from the service providers they use to book their trips. However, revenue is no longer a priority. Wilson explained that they had been "building the platform to plan trips on" and "growing the community." This paves the way for us to investigate the countless potential avenues of profit.

Its mobile app will be released later this year and its web app is already accessible worldwide for English-speaking countries. Pilot has big plans for the tourism markets in Latin America and Asia.

While the organization's ultimate goal is to help all kinds of travellers, the majority of its current customers are budget-conscious vacationers. "Those that love to travel in groups of friends and backpackers, digital nomads, and remote workers looking to make the most of their shared experiences," says Wilson.

This year, Pilot also participated in the accelerator programme at the Creative Destruction Lab.

Angel investors provided Pilot with around $650,000; the company is now seeking $4 million so it can devote more resources to developing the social features of the platform.

Is Pilot, the AI-fueled travel companion, about to reshape the travel industry?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

First published on Fri, Sep 29, 2023

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