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IHG Hotels & Resorts builds a new travel planner powered by Google Cloud AI

IHG Hotels & Resorts
Images by IHG Hotels & Resorts

IHG Hotels & Resorts, and Google Cloud, today announced an expanded partnership that will fuel new customer experiences within the IHG One Rewards mobile app. With Google Cloud’s technologies, IHG will launch a generative AI-powered travel planning capability that can help guests easily plan their next vacation directly in the IHG One Rewards mobile app in a suite of new features that will launch in the second half of 2024, creating a more dynamic digital guest experience.

“Working with Google Cloud as an AI innovation partner, we’re making trip planning easier and more interactive for prospective travelers. Our customized travel planner will use GenAI to help people discover destinations among our more than 6,000 IHG hotels across 19 brands in over 100 countries,” said Jolie Fleming, Chief Product & Technology Officer, IHG Hotels & Resorts. “Soon, guests will use the IHG One Rewards mobile app as a true mobile travel companion to build a full itinerary and book hotels in a few taps.” 

With IHG’s Travel Planner, a guest can get recommendations and ideas for both broad and nuanced requests like, “Give me four late-night dinner options near the InterContinental London Park Lane,” or “Does the Kimpton Shinjuku Hotel in Tokyo allow pets?” to “What jazz shows are happening near the Holiday Inn Express Manhattan Times Square South the weekend of October 12th?” Additional features will launch in the months following the Travel Planner’s public launch.

Investments in the IHG One Rewards mobile app and technology to support IHG’s loyalty program are critical parts of IHG’s efforts to grow customer loyalty and engagement, and working with Google Cloud will enable the company to move quickly to deploy features loved by guests. The Travel Planner will be developed using Vertex AI, Google Cloud’s AI platform, and Google’s Gemini models.

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“IHG is not only reimagining how people travel, but also how people interact with brands,” said Thomas Kurian, CEO at Google Cloud. “This implementation of generative AI combines Google’s technical expertise with IHG’s commitment to service, raising the bar for how the hospitality industry thinks about guests’ digital experiences.”

Google Cloud became IHG’s cloud provider in 2022, when IHG migrated components of its data to BigQuery, a fully managed, serverless data warehouse. IHG’s selection of Google Cloud’s AI technology for its upcoming Trip Planner feature was based on a variety of factors, including Google Cloud’s suite of AI technologies that IHG can grow with, and Google’s broad ecosystem of consumer products and services that will enable opportunities to create personalized experiences for travelers. IHG continues to explore how secured technology innovation can drive increased investment returns for hotel owners, and better experiences for guests.

Google Cloud’s approach to cybersecurity, data governance, and privacy also allows IHG to retain control over its data and enables data and applications to meet compliance and security standards, a key priority for IHG. Further, Google Cloud’s responsible and ethical approach to generative AI also means IHG has access to tools which enable direct review of model responses for appropriateness and accuracy. This access enables IHG to tune and update its applications, powered by Google’s models, to ensure optimal performance.

Tags: Google Cloud AI, IHG Hotels & Resorts, new travel planner

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