Expedia Group is opening a new space, EG Labs, where users can test new technology.
The digital space is designed for “those excited about the next frontier of travel and tech,” Expedia said. It is open to users in the U.S.
First up is Project Explorer, a trip planner powered by generative artificial intelligence. It can be tested on Expedia’s app for Apple mobile devices.
Expedia said Project Explorer “makes discovering new places and different types of trips easier through curated options based in interest, location, time of year and budget.” Recommendations come in seconds and include information and images, accommodation recommendations with prices and things to do.
New app features
Expedia on Thursday also released new features for its apps — Expedia, Hotels.com and Vrbo — including a new trip planner and a number of generative AI-powered tools. All will roll out by the end of 2023.
The trip planner, Expedia said, gives travelers the ability to collaborate on a trip. It is an area inside the Expedia, Hotels.com and Vrbo apps where they can see booked and saved options, including flights, activities, accommodations and rental cars. User also can like things and leave comments.
The Expedia and Hotels.com apps also now feature dynamic travel guides. The guides include hotel prices, crowd levels and weather conditions for some of the world’s most visited cities. Expedia said a generative AI feature can help users find neighborhoods for a hotel stay that are optimal based on interests.
Generative AI will now help answer users’ questions. All three apps have the ability to use generative AI to sift through guest reviews and answer questions about an accommodation’s amenities. It saves users the time of reading all the reviews themselves, Expedia said.
Similarly, generative AI can also answer questions about specific properties, like whether parking is free or WiFi is strong in all guest rooms.
Expedia has also added flexible date searches for stays on all three apps. Users can now broaden searches by adding or subtracting a few days around potential dates.
On the Expedia and Hotels.com apps in the U.S., users can also find stories created by influencers designed to inspire travel.
Expedia has also simplified self-service. On the Expedia app in the U.S., users can voluntarily change flights and easily add hotel booking information to Apple Wallet and Google Wallet. On the Expedia and Hotels.com apps, users can add breakfast to any reservation when available, up until one day before check-in.
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