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Booking.com Helps Customers Experience a New World of Travel Using AWS and Generative AI

Watch Booking.com Stories from AWS re:Invent

Booking.com provides over 28 million accommodation listings and flight locations in over 54 countries, managing over 150 petabytes of data.

In this AWS re:Invent 2023 keynote video, Rob Francis, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Booking.com, discusses how the company uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) to revolutionize the travel industry.

“Generative AI is on everyone’s agenda right now and using Amazon Bedrock is very exciting for us. We can pick the right language models and fine-tune them with Booking.com data to deliver destination and accommodation recommendations that are tailored and relevant.”

Thomas Davey
Vice President of Big Data and Machine Learning, Booking.com
 

Booking.com Helps Customers Experience a New World of Travel Using AWS

From small Netherlands-based startup to one of the world’s leading digital travel agencies—Booking.com has changed the way people make their travel plans. As a technology-focused business, it is looking to generative artificial intelligence (AI) to improve recommendations for customers, removing friction and delivering a tailored booking experience. By fine-tuning language models using Amazon Bedrock, the company is connecting customers with their dream destinations, making Booking.com the go-to platform for travel inspiration.

Taking the Friction Out of Travel

“Making it easier for everyone to experience the world.” This is Booking.com’s mission. A disruptor in the travel booking market, the startup grew quickly from its beginnings in Amsterdam in 1996 to become a marketplace that connects millions of customers with memorable travel experiences across the globe.
“The challenge of finding the right itinerary or destination is a point of friction in the customer journey,” says Thomas Davey, vice president of big data and machine learning at Booking.com. The question was how the online travel agent could use data to match people with experiences that were beyond their expectations.

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Destination Ideas That Wow

With a reputation for data-driven innovation, Booking.com wanted to harness the power of generative artificial intelligence (AI). “It has all the ingredients to be a transformative technology—especially in the travel industry,” says the company’s senior director of big data technologies Milovan Milovanovic. “It gives you the ability, with pretty loose parameters, to return a suggestion that’s completely new that you hadn’t considered.”

The Booking.com team uses Amazon Web Services (AWS), including operational and analytical data storage, as well as machine learning (ML) capabilities in Amazon SageMaker to build, train, and deploy its ML models. “We’re furthering our customer-centric ambitions using Amazon SageMaker,” says Davey. “With its broad capabilities, we can provide the best experience.” And, with Amazon Bedrock—a new service from AWS that makes it easy to build and scale generative AI applications—the company can use natural language models to get great ideas to its customers.


“Generative AI is on everyone’s agenda right now and using Amazon Bedrock is very exciting for us,” says Davey. “We can pick the right language models and fine-tune them with Booking.com data to deliver destination and accommodation recommendations that are tailored and relevant. Plus, we never have the risk of exposing our data—it stays safe within our secure ecosystem.”

Intelligent Travel Inspiration

Making the most of emerging technology has always been part of Booking.com’s success, and using generative AI along with the broad capabilities of AWS is helping the digital travel firm increase satisfaction and brand loyalty.
“As human beings, we like surprises,” says Milovanovic. “Especially when they turn out well. So when you go to a destination you’d never thought of and you like it, you’re bound to come back to Booking.com.”

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