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Say hi to Tern AI

With Tern AI, we finally answer the question on what AI can do for travel advisors. Learn how Tern AI will save you hours of time and change how you think about your job for the better.
Written by
Published on
March 22, 2024

As we recorded a podcast for Masters in Travel (podcast out in April), Whitney Shindelar asked me a question: “What will travel advisors use AI for?” she continued, “Is most of the value from AI coming up with 15 slogans for a social media caption?” 

Something about that question helped crystalize my thinking on why there are such mixed reactions around AI in travel. I spend most of my time talking to advisors. Some are all in on AI and finding creative ways to use it in the day to day. Most advisors are curious, but also a little anxious about how AI impacts them. That’s fair. Previous tech revolutions haven’t always been the most friendly to advisors. 

On our March product webinar, we shared a preview of Tern AI (coming in April), and explained why we think this tech revolution will bring travel advisors to new heights. I’m excited to share that with you all here. 

Before we jump to that, if you haven't read about the AMAZING Inbox and automation features we launched, start with that here!

Enter your email to watch the live demo of Tern AI 

Our AI principles 

AI is such a broad field and is evolving incredibly fast. On our launch webinar, Tern’s head of design, Brad Turner, shared our principles for designing AI into the Tern experience. 

Don’t compete with what makes advisors great

AI should be used to reduce advisor effort while elevating their expertise. Advisors bring tremendous value in the form of lived experience, understanding nuance, reading between the lines, empathizing with clients, and so many other uniquely human characteristics. This is what clients love about working with advisors and any attempt by AI to undermine that will alienate clients and undermine the advisor’s role. 

Tern AI focuses on reducing effort

Before Tern was even a company we attended ASTA Global in San Francisco. We talked to dozens of advisors and were struck by how much time and effort goes into manually entering data and formatting it in the ‘right’ way. Since then, we’ve only come to understand this problem more. In the past week we’ve seen examples like: 

  • Copying and pasting flights the clients booked themselves into the itinerary. 
  • Recreating an itinerary a DMC sent via PDF so the advisor can get CC authorization and send a brand aligned itinerary. 
  • Recreating a cruise itinerary that isn’t included in an integration. 

AI can help reduce the time spent in all of these areas, freeing up the advisor’s time to focus on more important things. 

Encourage review & build learning into the process

AI is so new that we all have a lot to learn. While we’ve been blown away by some parts of what AI can do, others still need work. Tern’s AI features will be designed to encourage advisor review before sharing with clients. We’ll also be designing in experiences where you can give feedback on where the AI could have done better. We’ll use this to create custom models that get smarter over time. 

AI will reduce data entry and formatting

In the webinar, we showed how powerful Tern AI is when combined with Tern’s new email integration. We demoed parsing a complicated set of flights into an itinerary with the click of a button. 

Historically, this type of email parsing has relied on coding a parser for each email type. It extracts the data in a known position. These can work, but are fragile. If the client copies and pastes the data in instead of forwarding, it’s unlikely the parser will work. Additionally, since these have to be coded for every email they support it’s unlikely these support lesser known suppliers. 

Tern’s AI based approach is far more resilient and flexible. We’ve tested it on award tickets, camper van rentals in northern Scotland, boutique hotels, and more. It handled them all with ease. We even tested it with GDS codes and it extracted the flights, hotel, and rental car with no explicit training on how to do so. 

Tern AI will automatically parse out the details, confirmation numbers, pricing, and descriptions. Over time, we’ll make it more sophisticated. 

AI will reduce the need for endless integrations

We get asked a lot about supplier integrations. Historically, that meant building custom integrations with a never ending list of companies. With AI, Tern can make it easy to bring over content from an unlimited number of suppliers. 

In the demo we showed how copying and pasting from a cruise line website automatically generated a cruise itinerary. We demonstrated how you could upload a PDF from a DMC and have the shell of the entire trip created in Tern automatically. Finally, we showed how you could copy/paste from an excursion website and have Tern automatically populate the content.


When combined with Tern’s email integration, advisors can easily import content from the web and email with just a few clicks. 

We believe AI will usher in a whole new era of flexibility. Advisors will have the benefits of an integration without the limitations of how many suppliers a development team can build against. 

AI will help make migrating systems easier

We know a lot of advisors have itineraries and other content in legacy systems they’ve been using for years. The idea of moving that content over manually can be daunting. We’re working on AI features that will help move over itineraries with a fraction of the work. 

AI will help reduce the switching costs of moving systems. This will give advisors the choice to be on the right system for them and in doing so encourage innovation across the industry. 

Tern AI will start rolling out in Beta this April

We can’t wait to get the first version of Tern AI in your hands. We expect the first AI features to start rolling out next month. These features will be in beta, meaning advisors should expect some rough edges, mistakes, and bugs. We want to get it into your hands as soon as possible so we can learn what areas the AI does well and where we should focus on making it better. 

While in beta Tern is including AI credits for every Tern user. Every AI call does cost Tern money, so in the future we may need to add an upcharge for the AI features. Compared to even an hour of an assistant’s time we think this will be a small cost in comparison to the time it will give back. 

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