Booking.com Launches ChatGPT-Powered Trip Planner
Travelers struggling to decide on their next destination can now use Booking.com's new AI tool powered by ChatGPT to help them find the perfect itinerary
Ditch your travel agent and forget agonizing over hotel options: your next vacation could be planned by artificial intelligence. At least that’s what Booking.com is betting on, as it launches a ChatGPT-powered trip planner on its U.S. app this week.
On June 28, select American members of Booking.com’s Genius loyalty program will gain access to a beta version of its new AI-fuelled Trip Planner to help them choose destinations and create travel itineraries.
The program leverages Booking.com’s existing machine learning models and draws on OpenAI’s ChatGPT, an explosively popular chatbot tool that uses large language model (LLM) technology to generate natural conversations.
In a process that Rob Francis, Booking.com CTO, compares to “talk[ing] about planning a trip with your partner or friends,” users can converse with the Trip Planner, which will produce suggestions of destinations and accommodation and answer travel-related questions.
For example, users may tell the AI that they want a romantic hotel in Rome near the Colosseum for their honeymoon or a Miami beachside rental with beds for 12 and a hot tub and let the AI gather relevant results.
The suggestions are presented in a visual list integrated into the Booking.com app, with prices displayed. Users can effortlessly book one of the suggestions simply by clicking.
The Trip Planner can also produce daily itineraries for specific cities and countries, so you don’t have to bicker about which sites to see during your whirlwind 48 hours in Paris.
The AI will respond “in a very natural, human way throughout the interaction,” Francis said.
“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,” he added.
Booking.com chief executive Glenn Fogel added, “Our primary aim at Booking.com has always been to leverage technology to make travel easier.
“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.
“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.”
Fogel envisions that AI will be able to “instantly fix” travel plans for customers in the event of cancellations and delays, even spotting potential snags before the traveler does. For example, with travel and accommodation booked through one service, an AI bot could react to a delayed flight by rearranging the airport pickup and alerting the hotel—all without the traveler lifting a finger.
Booking.com isn’t the only travel site harnessing the power of AI to help travelers effortlessly plan getaways. In April, rival Expedia launched a beta version of its conversational, ChatGPT-powered trip planning service within its mobile app. Users can pose questions, detail their needs to the chatbot, and receive recommendations on destinations, transportation, hotels, and activities.
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