Google Follows ChatGPT With New AI-Powered Trip-Planning Tools

Skift Take

Today’s podcast looks at Google’s new AI tool, Ariane Gorin’s new plans for Expedia Group, and Qantas’ change in routes to China.

Good morning from Skift. It’s Wednesday, May 15. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

Google is going deeper into the AI-powered trip planning world. The tech giant is adding itinerary-building capabilities on Gemini Advanced, its paid generative AI chatbot, writes Travel Technology Reporter Justin Dawes.

Google Vice President Sissie Hsiao said Gemini Advanced can create a personalized vacation plan using multiple sources of information. The trip-planning capability is coming to Gemini Advanced this summer. In addition, Google is also boosting trip-planning options for AI Overviews, the AI feature it released earlier this year. 

Next, Ariane Gorin took over as CEO of Expedia Group this week. She explained what she’s looking to accomplish during an interview with Executive Editor Dennis Schaal.

Gorin said that organic growth is one of her priorities, having recently completed a tech migration that brought together several of its brands onto one platform. She added Expedia is focused on growing internationally, but will take a measured approach in doing so. 

Gorin added Expedia needs to make improvements to its vacation-rental brand Vrbo. Expedia recently trimmed its 2024 outlook growth mainly due to Vrbo’s slower-than-anticipated recovery. 

Finally, Qantas is pulling out of mainland China as it increasingly faces fierce competition from local carriers, writes Airlines Reporter Gordon Smith.

Australia’s flag carrier is citing “low demand” as the reason it will no longer fly from Sydney to Shanghai starting on July 28. Qantas International CEO Cam Wallace said flights between the two cities have often been half full since the company relaunched service following the pandemic. Meanwhile, Chinese carriers operate 102 flights weekly between mainland China and Australia’s three largest cities. 

Presenter/Producer: Jane Alexander

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