Tourisme Montreal launches an AI travel assistant

A conversational platform aims to guide visitors through the experiences available to them on a trip.

Tourisme Montreal is helping guide travelers through the city – especially ones looking for last-minute ideas – with an AI-powered conversational guide.

Available through both Google Assistant and the My Montreal City Guide app, “The Voice of Montreal” offers curated recommendations for neighbourhoods, cultural attractions and dining experiences, as well as seasonal offers and events, via conversations that incorporate location data. While the tool can be used during the planning stages of the trip, it is particularly useful for those looking for guidance after they arrive, when traditional text-based websites are harder to navigate and consult for last-minute plans or spontaneous decisions. That’s according to Jonathan Rouxel, co-founder of Prologue AI, which helped to develop the tool.

Serving up current and customized intel on offers, events and attractions also helps visitors decide which neighbourhoods, museums or restaurants they should check out. In short, The Voice of Montréal provides curated recommendations to help visitors discover engaging experiences with a truly local flavour.

Emmanuelle Legault, VP of marketing and strategy at Tourisme Montréal, says the AI tool is one way the organization is improving the tourism experience in the city. The tourism board’s marketing in recent years has focused on the wide range of options available to visitors, and using artificial intelligence can help tourists navigate those offerings to find what they’d enjoy most. That also fits with a strategy of being there to guide visitors through all elements of their stay, often by leaning on the credibility of locals.

“Montréal is a unique place with something for everyone – it’s just a matter of finding it,” Legault says.

Earlier this year, Prologue partnered with data science research centre IVADO to specifically work on applications of conversational data and AI for the entertainment, travel and culture sectors. “The Voice of Montreal” was created by working with MT Lab, an innovation hub dedicated to travel and tourism, of which Tourisme Montreal is a founding partner and IVADO has previously worked closely with. Prologue also recently released Voicetrip, a product for destination marketers that combines text and voice