For years, Expedia Group has powered and influenced some of the most unforgettable travel experiences, and their brands are among the best-known names in global travel. The company is at the cutting edge when it comes to Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), with those tools enabling customers to discover new destinations, plan and structure their trips without hesitation.
That’s all by design according to Candice Tang, Vice President of Technology, Developer Experience with Expedia Group.
“AI covers everything from booking to shopping to how travelers change their flights,” she says about the importance of AI platforms. “We’ve been using AI for years building on our platform’s capabilities to simplify our traveler’s experience.”
Candice, who has been in the position for a year, focuses on the developer experience and leads a team that streamlines and automates routine tasks, so developers can focus on what they do best– solving tough tech challenges. Her team has been responsible for implementing enhancements to Expedia Group’s developer toolkit to enable them to onboard quickly and begin shipping code on day one. A great developer experience empowers employees to deliver outstanding experiences to travelers, suppliers and partners– and Tang’s team delivers.
“We provide common AI tools, infrastructure, architecture that increase efficiency and productivity for our developers. Reliability, security and efficiency are at the core of what we do,” Tang said.
Expedia Group has reimagined its entire tech platform over the last two years, enabling the company to innovate much faster and deeply root AI and ML in everything it does. One of the most recent developments Expedia Group has been using is centered around providing innovative solutions to address traveler pain points while bringing some fun back into travel planning.
“We recently announced a suite of intelligent discovery and planning features across Expedia, Hotels.com, and Vrbo to reinvent how travelers find new places, collaborate with friends and family, and get quick AI-generated answers to common travel questions,” Candice said.
Those questions could range from concerns about fluctuating flight price trends or comparing up to five hotels in the Hotels.com app. Using Al and ML to help navigate those concerns and drive personalized experiences across Expedia Group’s flagship brands allows the company to know what a traveler usually prefers, and helps travelers feel more confident they’ve booked the right trip for them.
A main focus for Expedia Group is the theme “By Travelers, For Travelers,” which not only gives travelers control over their experience, it brings them back to Expedia for future bookings.
“We want and expect a good experience, just like our travelers, so we’re building what we want to experience, too,” Candice shared. “When you apply passion and strive to be best-in-class on each step in the journey– plan/search, shop/book, and receiving service – it creates an experience that keeps travelers coming back. And, when you add in rewards from our new One Key program, customer loyalty follows.”
When asked if she had any tips when it comes to using technology in the planning process, she shared the following is now available for travelers in their apps:
- Take the stress out of group travel with Trip Planner – This tool makes it easy to share and refine travel options with family and friends. Your group can like, comment, save ideas, and more.
- Use our Dynamic Travel Guides to pick the best destination for you – Our guides are great tools to dive into specifics into hotel prices, weather conditions, and crowd levels for the most visited cities in the world. You can also use our ChatGPT tool within the guide to help identify the ideal neighborhood to stay, based on your interests.
- Discover the perfect hotel for your needs with Amenity Answers – Try our Amenity Answers tool to quickly shift through guest reviews to narrow down your hotel or vacation rental choices — especially if you have a few non-negotiables like great Wi-Fi or a spa to recover after a long flight.
In addition to making the travel experience easier for travelers, Candice has been focused on making Expedia Group a great place to work by supporting Expedia Group’s Inclusion Business Groups (IBGs), (also known as ERGs at other companies). These self-organized communities are focused on advancing inclusion, awareness, and a sense of belonging for underrepresented identities. She is a member of the Black Expedia Allied Movement (BEAM), and AfroTech was one of the first big events she was able to participate in since joining the company.
She described her first time at AfroTech as exhilarating.
“I was so proud to see how our Expedia Group team reached out to the Black tech community at AfroTech,” she says, “to show some of the brightest minds in the industry what Expedia Group is all about and what it’s like to work here. We feel strongly about our commitment to making travel accessible to all and a force for good. We had open, engaging conversations and made strong connections during the week.
“I felt lucky to participate and also spend time soaking up the stories of my colleagues. It’s amazing to be a part of an incredible team who are paving the way for a more inclusive world in the future.”
She says one of her favorite gems from the AfroTech Conference was, “Celebrate the step and not the result,” spoken by Lawrence Phillips, founder and CEO of Green Book Global. It reminded her that so often, teams obsess over outcomes and results and forget to celebrate progress toward a goal, which is also worthy of recognition and reflection.
For Candice and the team onsite in Austin, this was great advice and they are not only taking care to celebrate progress on the job, but are still celebrating how Black leaders in technology came together to learn, share and grow during the week. It’s an experience she won’t soon forget and she looks forward to how Expedia Group can make next year even better.
“I’ll be thinking about the impact and promise of this event for a long time to come and can’t wait to go back next year.” She hopes you’ll join her there.
To see how Expedia Group’s innovative technology can be used to plan your next trip, check out the Expedia website.