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### Leveraging AI and Creator Content to Develop a Cutting-Edge Travel Recommendation App

Many companies are trying to use AI chatbots (beyond ChatGPT) in different industries — especially …

Many companies are exploring the integration of AI chatbots, beyond ChatGPT, across various sectors, particularly in the consumer industry. Layla, a startup based in Berlin, is capitalizing on this trend by developing a chatbot and an accompanying app that offers recommendations for new travel destinations and assists with bookings.

Founded by Jeremy Jauncey, the creator of the renowned travel agency Beautiful Destinations with a substantial social media following, and Saad Saeed, the former co-founder of the grocery delivery service Flink, Layla aims to revolutionize the travel industry by leveraging their expertise in social media and technology.

Jauncey emphasized the need for innovation in travel discovery, noting the shift in post-pandemic travel decisions influenced by platforms like Instagram and TikTok. The company officially launched its app and chatbot, which have already garnered a significant following on Instagram through Beautiful Destinations’ network.

Users can engage with Layla on Instagram to explore destinations, weather conditions, ideal travel times, activities, as well as flight and accommodation options. The chatbot also showcases destination videos sourced from creators within the Beautiful Destinations network, offering a unique perspective on various locations.

Saeed highlighted the transition to Layla’s dedicated app on Instagram after initial interactions, where users can curate lists, share them, engage in travel-related discussions, and access comprehensive information including videos, ticket pricing, and lodging choices.

To streamline the travel planning process, Layla has partnered with Booking.com for lodging options and Skyscanner for flights, initially operating on a fee-sharing model. The startup is considering additional revenue streams such as personalized advertising as it scales.

Securing a €3 million ($3.2 million) seed investment led by Firstminute Capital, with contributions from industry stalwarts like Booking.com and Skyscanner co-founders, Layla aims to differentiate itself by offering diverse content without the conventional filter-based search results structure of typical travel websites. The company is developing proprietary recommendation algorithms and vision technology to enhance user experience and provide innovative solutions.

Investors, including Brent Hoberman from Firstminute Capital, are optimistic about Layla’s AI-driven approach to travel inquiries and content curation. The company faces challenges in educating users to frame queries effectively for accurate AI responses and establishing itself as a premier travel inspiration platform.

In a competitive landscape where AI is increasingly integrated into travel services, Layla’s distinctive focus on personalized recommendations and unique content sets it apart. While rivals like Pilot, Airbnb, Kayak, and Expedia are also leveraging AI technologies, Layla’s emphasis on user engagement and innovative features positions it favorably in the evolving travel industry landscape.

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Last modified: February 13, 2024
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