Google’s new chatbot could simplify travel planning for people around the world. During the Google I/O 2023 conference in May, the tech giant announced it would soon add extensions to Bard. One of two Google chatbots in development, the new Bard advancements could surpass the capabilities of both ChatGPT and Microsoft’s Bing Chat, according to TechRadar. 

Another natural language processing (NLP) AI model, Bard extension could become the next best thing for travelers looking to avoid the stress that comes with planning trips. According to 9to5google, the extensions will integrate with tools like Google Flights, Google Maps, and Google Hotels to make travel planning more efficient and easy. 

Here’s What You Need To Know About Bard

With Bard, travelers can search key phrases like, “Find hotel accommodations in LA under $150 a night,” and get immediate results without spending time filtering through options. Flight pricing fluctuates daily so it can’t be pulled from cached internet data. However, Google is working to integrate with third-party tools to perfect this feature. 

Photo credit: Roberto Hund

Many travelers are excited about chatbots entering the tourism industry. One Florida mom planned her family’s entire summer vacation using a chatbot to save time. However, NLP expert and Entri founder Chaim Heber said in a Forbes article the travel industry is behind in integrating AI with tourism. 

“Chatbots can simplify and improve the systems involved in travel,” Heber said in his article. “They can allow customers to directly communicate with companies and government offices, reducing wait times and providing a fast, intuitive, and seamless customer experience. They can instantly complete tasks, gather data, and solve issues—all without requiring human input.”

Travel Planning Simplified

Simplification is something travelers have requested for a long time and Bard is stepping in to meet the need. The desire for easier planning without human input has grown over the years. Robots and AI used to be confined to cinema and fiction. Now 68 percent of users say they enjoy the convenience and fast responsiveness of chatbots, according to a Userlike survey. 

Chatbots are also saving brands money on the need for human employees. According to a study by Juniper Research, the retail industry is expected to see sales increase from $7.3 billion in 2019 to $112 billion by the end of 2023 as a result of chatbot integration. Travel experts believe Bard will do the same for the tourism industry. 

In addition to travel extensions, Bard is also integrating with Google Drive systems like Docs and Gmail, Youtube, and other services like Redfin, Zillow, and Kayak. Although the UI of Bard’s upcoming extensions is available, they are not currently working for online users yet. Travel experts anticipate major changes once chatbots fully enter the industry.

“Travel doesn’t need to be complex or headache-inducing,” Heber said. “With the introduction of chatbots, travel can become frictionless. Almost like vacation itself.”