IHG Hotels & Resorts and Google Cloud announced an expanded partnership to enhance the IHG One Rewards mobile app with a new AI-powered travel planning feature. 

Launching in the second half of 2024, the planner will leverage Google Cloud’s Vertex AI, Google Cloud’s AI platform and Google’s Gemini models to create a more dynamic and personalised user experience.

“Working with Google Cloud as an AI innovation partner, we’re making trip planning easier and more interactive for prospective travellers. Our customised 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. 

The planner will cater to a wide range of user queries, from broad requests like “find late-night dining near InterContinental London Park Lane” to specific questions like “pet policy at Kimpton Shinjuku Tokyo” or even hyper-local event searches like “jazz shows near Holiday Inn Express Manhattan Times Square South on October 12th weekend.”

This initiative aligns with IHG’s focus on fostering customer loyalty and engagement. Investing in the IHG One Rewards app and its loyalty programme is a key strategy, and Google Cloud’s technology allows them to rapidly deploy user-centric features.

“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,” said Thomas Kurian, CEO at Google Cloud.

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The partnership builds upon IHG’s selection of Google Cloud as its cloud provider in 2022.  

Furthermore, Google Cloud’s strong focus on cybersecurity, data governance, and privacy aligns with IHG’s priorities. This ensures IHG retains data control while adhering to compliance standards.  

Additionally, Google Cloud’s commitment to responsible and ethical AI development provides IHG with tools to directly review model responses for accuracy and appropriateness, allowing for continuous improvement of the travel planner.