Romie by Expedia is an AI assistant designed to serve as a booking agent, concierge and personal assistant in one. Olivia Palamountain reports

As the travel world continues to harness machine learning, Expedia has released Romie, a virtual AI-powered travel companion designed to revolutionise the way travellers plan and experience their trips.

Now available on EG Labs (Expedia’s hub for experimental products) Romie will learn user preferences and provide tailored recommendations for planning, booking and troubleshooting, for continued support throughout a journey.

Romie pulls information from user emails to build an itinerary, recommending nearby restaurants and activities that cater to personal tastes, which are then updated in real-time, allowing users to stay informed and connected throughout their trip.

Features include group chat trip planning and a smart search feature that allows users to find their ideal hotel faster by incorporating preferences and custom filters.

In case of unexpected changes or disruptions, Romie’s dynamic service also ensures convenient alternative options are at the ready. For example, if bad weather threatens to affect a scheduled outdoor activity, Romie will step in to suggest an indoor alternative.Expedia Romie

  • 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.

Debuted in May 2024 at the company’s annual Explore conference, Romie’s launch formed part of Expedia’s “Spring Release”, featuring some 40 product updates and innovations.

Ariane Gorin, CEO of Expedia Group, says: “At Expedia Group, we embrace the transformative power of AI to create personalised travel experiences. Our long-standing investments in this space enable us to capitalise 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.”

As reported by Hotel Dive, Deloitte has predicted that generative AI will become so integrated into travel search and booking platforms that it will spawn something it calls “the GenAI agent”.

These virtual concierges will not only book trips for travellers, but optimise for pricing, loyalty memberships, cancellation policies and any additional conditions and perks, according to Deloitte.