The AI view of the Canary Islands

It took me five minutes to write the destination descriptions below. That’s because I didn’t write them, ChatGPT did. As an experiment, I used ChatGPT to see how well it could perform. This is the AI view of the Canary Islands.

Recently I’ve read numerous travel articles about the Canary Islands that were littered with inaccuracies. There were so many wrong details, I wondered if AI was responsible. Now I think not. AI can produce better. I’m not saying good, I’m saying better. There is a key distinction.

Read these and see what you think.

Lanzarote - AI view of the Canary Islands

The AI view of Lanzarote

Lanzarote, a volcanic wonderland in the Canary Islands, captivates with its otherworldly landscapes and artistic flair. Its dramatic coastline is sculpted by lava formations, including the striking Timanfaya National Park, where volcanic craters and lunar-like vistas awe visitors. Traditional whitewashed villages dot the island, adorned with colourful blooms and charming architecture. Renowned artist César Manrique’s influence is evident throughout, from his stunning Jameos del Agua to the breathtaking Mirador del Rio viewpoint. Lanzarote’s unique blend of natural beauty and artistic innovation offers endless opportunities for exploration, whether hiking through lava fields, sampling local wines, or simply admiring its surreal scenery.

Fuerteventura

The AI view of Fuerteventura

Fuerteventura, a desert-like paradise in the Canary Islands, mesmerizes with its vast stretches of golden sand dunes and crystal-clear turquoise waters. Its rugged coastline is a haven for surfers and beach lovers alike, offering world-class waves and secluded bays to explore. Inland, barren volcanic landscapes give way to fertile valleys dotted with traditional whitewashed villages. The island’s laid-back atmosphere and year-round sunshine attract visitors seeking relaxation and adventure in equal measure. Whether windsurfing in Corralejo, exploring ancient caves in Betancuria, or simply soaking up the sun on its pristine beaches, Fuerteventura promises an unforgettable escape immersed in natural beauty.

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

The AI view of Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria, the “Miniature Continent,” enchants with its diverse landscapes, from golden beaches to rugged mountains. Its capital, Las Palmas, blends historic charm with cosmopolitan vibrancy, boasting colonial architecture and bustling markets. Inland, picturesque villages nestle amidst terraced hillsides adorned with lush vegetation. The island’s interior is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts, offering hiking trails through pine forests and volcanic craters. Along the coast, vibrant resorts cater to sun-seekers and water sports enthusiasts, while hidden coves offer tranquil retreats. Gran Canaria’s rich cultural heritage is celebrated through colourful festivals and traditional cuisine, creating an unforgettable experience for every visitor.

Tenerife

The AI view of Tenerife

Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands, is a vibrant tapestry of diverse landscapes and cultural experiences. Its iconic Mount Teide, Spain’s highest peak, dominates the skyline with its volcanic majesty, surrounded by lunar-like landscapes of lava fields and ancient forests. Along its coastline, golden beaches and lively resorts beckon sun-seekers and water sports enthusiasts. Historic towns like La Laguna offer a glimpse into the island’s colonial past, while modern cities like Santa Cruz buzz with cosmopolitan energy. Tenerife’s rich cultural tapestry is complemented by a thriving culinary scene, where local delicacies and international flavours blend seamlessly. With its year-round sunshine and endless attractions, Tenerife is a destination that captivates visitors of all interests.

La Gomera

The AI view of La Gomera

La Gomera, a tranquil gem among the Canary Islands, enchants visitors with its unspoiled beauty and unique charm. Its rugged coastline is adorned with secluded coves, while lush forests cloak its mountainous interior, creating a haven for nature lovers and hikers. The island’s distinct cultural heritage is evident in its traditional villages, where the ancient whistling language, Silbo Gomero, still echoes through the valleys. Visitors can explore historic landmarks, sample local cuisine, and embark on scenic drives along winding roads that offer breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. With its serene ambiance and natural wonders, La Gomera invites travellers to unwind and discover its timeless allure.

La Palma

The AI view of La Palma

La Palma, known as “La Isla Bonita,” captivates with its stunning natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. Volcanic in origin, it features lush forests, deep ravines, and volcanic landscapes, earning it a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve designation. The island’s star-filled skies make it a haven for stargazers, boasting one of the world’s premier observatories. Charming towns with colourful houses line its coast, offering a glimpse into traditional Canarian life. Visitors can explore historic sites, hike along scenic trails, and savour local delicacies. With its unparalleled beauty and diverse attractions, La Palma beckons adventurers and nature lovers to immerse themselves in its enchanting surroundings.

El Hierro

The AI view of El Hierro

El Hierro, the smallest Canary Island, enchants with its rugged coastline, volcanic landscapes, and pristine nature. Lush forests, dramatic cliffs, and secluded beaches adorn its shores, while volcanic cones dominate the interior. Renowned for its ecological diversity, El Hierro boasts marine reserves teeming with life and innovative renewable energy projects like its hydro-wind power station. Amidst charming villages, visitors can savour traditional cuisine, explore historic sites, and embrace the laid-back Canarian lifestyle. Whether hiking through its scenic trails or diving into its crystal-clear waters, El Hierro offers an unforgettable retreat in the heart of the Atlantic.

Just how good are these descriptions?

I used to take the mickey out of descriptions on mainstream tour operators’ destination pages. I’d scroll through them and pick out the howlers. It was a bottomless seam because the internet is full of inaccurate information. When a writer doesn’t know a destination, they don’t know what is accurate and what isn’t. AI is no different.

To be fair, AI has done a decent job. There is nothing horrendously wrong about any of the above. They are cliché-ridden; they lack the specific details that make each of the Canary Islands unique (although AI is smart enough to throw in one or two snippets that pass as ‘details’); and variations of the same phrases are repeated – secluded coves and bays, charming towns or villages; local cuisine or delicacies etc. But it was always thus.

There are bits that hit a misleading note – caves in Betancuria, Silbo still echoing through La Gomera’s valleys, volcanic cones dominating El Hierro’s interior – but these are minor.

For something that took five minutes it’s good going and, if anyone is in the business of producing descriptions of travel destinations, economically attractive. If I worked for a mainstream tour company and had responsibility for online marketing material, I’d have my team utilising ChatGPT.

But I don’t. I’m in the business of producing travel articles with the sort of information you can only glean from visiting somewhere. When it comes to accurate, specialist knowledge, ChatGPT is found wanting.

AI is a copywriter not a travel writer.

About Jack 798 Articles
Jack is co-editor, writer and photographer for BuzzTrips and the Real Tenerife series of travel websites as well as a Slow Travel consultant and a contributor to online travel sites and travel magazines. Follow Jack on Facebook for more travel photos and snippets.

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