Booking.com launches new AI Trip Planner to enhance travel planning experience
The digital travel platform Booking.com launched its new AI Trip Planner in a selection of US travellers in the company’s app on June 28. The enhanced app is built upon the foundation of Booking.com existing machine learning models that recommend destination and accommodation options to millions of travellers on the platform every day.
With its new AI Trip Planner, Booking.com is to create a more powerful conversational experience for people to start their trip planning process. Travellers can ask the AI Trip Planner general travel-related questions, as well as more specific queries to support any stage of the trip planning process. It includes scoping out potential destinations and accommodation options, providing travel inspiration based on individual needs and requirements, as well as creating itineraries for a particular city, country or region.
More tailored and relevant travel recommendations
Travellers can easily chat with the pilot AI Trip Planner to describe what they’re looking for in broad or specific terms, ask questions and refine their search in real time, with new options surfaced in just a matter of seconds. From looking for inspiration on romantic beach destination options in the Caribbean to zeroing in on a specific list of vacation homes for a family of four, with air conditioning and a pool, the AI Trip Planner makes recommendations in a quick, conversational way.
The AI Trip Planner takes the trip planning process one step further by providing holidaymakers with a visual list of destinations and properties, including Booking.com’s pricing information, with deep-links to view more details. Travellers can go back and forth between their chat with the AI Trip Planner and the Booking.com app interface as they consider options for their trip. With just a tap on any accommodation they are interested in, they can complete the reservation, as the AI Trip Planner is directly integrated into the accommodation booking experience in the Booking.com app.
“Our primary aim at Booking.com has always been to leverage technology to make travel easier,” said Glenn Fogel, CEO of Booking.com. “The recent developments with generative AI are accelerating the work we’ve been doing for years with machine learning to enhance and improve every aspect of the customer experience on our platform, whether it’s optimizing the right order to display a hotel’s photos to surfacing the most relevant reviews. Our new AI Trip Planner is simply the next step in our ongoing journey to explore how we can bring even more value, and hopefully enjoyment, to the entire trip planning process.”
“Our new AI Trip Planner provides us with some really exciting possibilities to help our customers plan and search for travel options in a very natural, human way,” said Rob Francis, CTO of Booking.com. “Oftentimes, people are asked to adapt to the confines of technology to do what they want, but with generative AI, we’re able to start having scalable, one-to-one conversations with our customers on their terms, much like how you would begin to talk about planning a trip with your partner or friends. It’s just the beginning, but we have lots of runway here to explore in order to innovate and connect the travel experience further on Booking.com, all in a safe, ethical and inclusive way.”
Asked recently about the expansion of Booking;com AI Travel Planner outside the USA, Francis is confident : “We are starting in the US for a growing percentage of customers and we are going to use that to learn and understand our customers’ tastes. Then we will gradually expand over time, both in terms of regions and countries, as well as in terms of experience over time”.
Booking.com is already available in 43 languages proposing a calalogue of some 28 million accommodations across the world. The website is now waiting for the European Commission to confirm that it can acquiring a Swedish flights seller, Etraveli Group for US$1.8 billion. The EU Commission has been so far reluctant to give its approval fearing for competition distortion. A decision is due by the end of August.