AI Transforms Your Travel Planning
On November 30, 2022, the landscape of artificial intelligence underwent a paradigm shift when OpenAI, bolstered by a significant investment from tech titan Microsoft, unveiled ChatGPT to the public. This innovative move extended the reach of Natural Language Processing (NLP), offering its formidable capabilities free of charge and without the need for any prerequisite expertise.
Much like Microsoft’s trailblazing launch of Expedia in 1996, this democratization of AI presents a compelling potential to revolutionize the travel industry anew, thereby recasting the tech giant’s influential role in the transformation of the travel sector. As such, Microsoft’s strategic investment in OpenAI again proves its ability to reshape the travel landscape, echoing the tectonic shifts spurred by the Expedia-OTA revolution and demonstrating its capability as a kingmaker in the industry.
The dynamics of AI adoption took a seismic shift post-November 2022. What was a race turned into a mad dash, with industries worldwide capitalizing on the innovative technology. Unsurprisingly, the travel sector held its position at the vanguard of this revolutionary wave.
In a swift turn of events three months after the public unveiling of GPT, the Expedia Group made a groundbreaking move. On March 23, 2023, they launched a ChatGPT plugin that equips travelers to engage in free-flowing travel planning conversations with a robot assistant. The AI provides tailored recommendations for destinations, accommodations, attractions, and activities available through Expedia’s Application Programming Interface (API).
In a move that continued the theatrics of a competitive rivalry, KAYAK responded on the same day in March by launching its own ChatGPT plugin. This swift action offered travelers an experience on par with the Expedia GPT plugin, effectively elevating the game in the travel industry.
Barely two weeks later, Expedia took its innovation game up a notch, integrating ChatGPT into its app via a smooth dueling API integration. This further integration allowed anyone to plan a vacation using GPT and Expedia interchangeably, irrespective of whether they initiated the process on the Expedia app or via ChatGPT on the web. Additionally, the GPT-integrated Expedia app ensured no suggestions slipped through the cracks by keeping a record of conversations, noting hotel references, and promptly saving them to the user’s trip page.