Expedia Group releases AI-powered “travel agent” Romie

Expedia Group just announced a new AI-powered assistant, Romie, designed to mimic the services of a travel agent to assist with planning, shopping, booking and even lends a hand when something unexpectedly changes during a trip.

Unveiled at this year’s EXPLORE conference, held this year in Las Vegas from May 14 to May 15, Romie gets progressively intelligent — learning who you are, remembering what type of trips you like, and even if you prefer Italian food and boutique hotels or an afternoon hiking through nature.

The alpha version of the Romie experience is currently available on EG Labs, a hub for experimental products.

“At Expedia Group, we embrace the transformative power of AI to create personalized travel experiences. Our long-standing investments in this space enable us to capitalize on the breathtaking pace of AI innovation, and today’s spring release demonstrates our commitment to delivering innovative products and features that enhance the way people explore the world,” said Ariane Gorin, CEO, Expedia Group.

I’m super excited about Romie and what it can do to make travel delightful again,” added Rathi Murthy, chief technology officer, Expedia Group. “It’s been quite a journey over the last few years for us; we’ve made a lot of technology enhancements across the platform. With much of the migration behind us, we can now focus on new experiences for our travellers. We want to make travel delightful again.”

Meet Romie, your roaming AI buddy

On the tradeshow floor, Baxter Media’s Christine Roberti had the opportunity to see firsthand some of the key features of Romie and its smart capabilities.

Currently available in English, Murthy confirmed that Romie’s “journey is to learn quickly, receive feedback and productionalize and roll it out across our brands,” eventually incorporating additional languages for users.

“Romie is very special, on a few fronts,” Murthy said. “We were the first to launch conversational trip planning with the launch of ChatGPT and we’ve learned what matters to our travellers and how they’re using us. Now, we’re transforming the experience once more.”

Key features

Key features of Romie include:

Group chat trip planning: Invite Romie to join your SMS group chat and listen to your vacation plans. If you want some advice, just @Romie to get suggestions on where to go or what to do, like you would a travel agent.

Smart search: Ask Romie to summarize your group chat and bring what they learned about your trip straight into your Expedia shopping experience. Personalize your search even more by adding your own filters like rooftop views and early check-in to find your ideal hotel faster.

Building your itinerary: Like any good concierge, your new AI buddy is eager to help you build your perfect trip. Romie can pull in travel information from your emails and suggest restaurants and activities near your hotel that they think you and your group will enjoy.

Dynamic service: You can rely on Romie to troubleshoot with you when things don’t go as planned. Like the perfect personal assistant, Romie monitors weather changes or last-minute disruptions that may impact your plans and has alternative suggestions ready that are convenient for you.

Intelligent Assistance: Throughout your trip, Romie updates your itinerary in real time so anyone in the group chat with FOMO can see what you’re up to, and anyone that needs to pick you up from the airport can simply @Romie to check what time you land.

“We believe in re-imagining the traveler experience, and then using the latest in AI to bring it to life, and with Romie, we’ve done just that,” said Rathi Murthy, CTO, Expedia Group. “We created an AI assistant with hyper personalization in mind so that travelers can choose when they want Romie’s help on their own terms. Romie can assist throughout dreaming, planning and traveling or even when things don’t go as planned, all while getting more intelligent as the traveler interacts.”

More coverage of this year’s EXPLORE conference is underway in Las Vegas, stay tuned!