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Google wants to use generative AI to create travel itineraries for your vacation

With the summer holidays approaching, Google has announced a series of travel updates that will bring it directly into the travel planning process and allow it to gain deeper insights into purchase intentions in the travel industry.

First, Google announced on Wednesday that it is rolling out an update to its Search Generated Experience (SGE) that will allow users to build travel itineraries and travel ideas using artificial intelligence.

The new feature is currently available in English only in the U.S. to users who sign up for Search Labs, a program for users to experiment with early Google search experiences and share feedback, drawing on ideas from sites across the web, as well as reviews, photos, and information. Additional details about places around the world that people submit to Google.

When users ask a question like “Plan me a three-day trip to Philadelphia about history,” they’ll get a sample itinerary that includes attractions and restaurants, as well as an overview of flight and hotel options broken down by time of day.

For now, that’s what the rides are: no purchase options and no on-site services or experiences. When you’re happy with your trip, you can export it to Gmail, Docs, or Maps.

Google has not commented on when or if it will roll out the service more broadly. But it shows that the company is experimenting with how and where to apply its artificial intelligence engine. Many players in the travel industry are likely focused on the role that generative AI will play in travel services in the coming years—some with excitement, others with caution. But even now, startups like Mindtrip and Layla are actively pursuing this goal, providing users with artificial intelligence assistants designed to help you plan your trip.

But with this new update, Google is competing with these startups while also collecting data on travel purchase intentions (useful for its broader advertising business) and user interest in such services.

Image Source: Google

Google also announced that users can more easily discover recommended listings in Google Maps in select cities in the United States and Canada. If you search for a city in Maps, you’ll now see a list of recommended places from publishers like The Infatuation, as well as other users. You’ll also see curated lists of top restaurants, popular restaurants, and hidden gems in over 40 cities across the United States.

Finally, the company is adding new tools to help you customize the lists you create so you can better organize your travel plans or share your favorite spots with your friends and family. You can choose the order in which places appear in the list, so you can organize them in your favorite order or chronologically like an itinerary. Additionally, you can link to content from your social channels.

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