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The future is already here: GenAI is now an integral part of tourism

Glenn Fogel from on stage

Glen Fogel is an advocate of AI

Speaking at ITB Berlin 2024 Glenn Fogel, CEO of Booking Holdings, revealed himself to be a major supporter of the use of artificial intelligence. At the Future Tracks section of the Convention he outlined his vision for the use of artificial intelligence in tourism under the heading of “Leadership, Innovation and the Future of Travel”: ”Back in the day my parents would go to a travel agency, where their interests were already known, and where they could be presented with suitable offers. If any problems occurred during the journey the travel agency was their point of contact.” And that is precisely what GenAI (generative artificial intelligence) can provide, but even more comprehensively because of the increased volume of data that is available.

GenAI provides customers with better advice that is available from humans. And when smart payment systems are used to facilitate travel he believes that he and his group of companies will be well prepared to face the future. The first step in this direction is provided by a travel planner on his platform, utilising artificial intelligence. As Fogel explained, the “AI Trip Planner” is based on the existing machine learning models of, which are used on the platform to recommend destinations and accommodation options to millions of travellers each day, with the technological support provided by Open AI’s ChatGPT. As Glenn Fogel explains: “The latest developments in generative AI provide a boost to our work, which we have been carrying out for many years with machine learning, in order to continue to develop every aspect of the customer experience on our platform“.

Using this new tool travellers can not only raise general travel-related questions but also conduct more specific enquiries. According to Booking travellers can chat with the AI Trip Planner, describe their own particular requirements, ask questions and refine their searches in real time, and the tool can submit new suggestions within seconds. In this way the planner can, for example, offer information and inspiration about potential destination and accommodation options or produce routes for a particular city, country or regions. “I am convinced that vacationers only want one single platform for the entire trip. To achieve this we want to offer intelligent solutions, which also incorporate travel options, payment systems and much more besides.“