http://www.digitaljournal.com/tech-and-science/technology/trivago-s-travel-recommendations-to-get-personalized-with-ai/article/503472

Trivago's travel recommendations to get personalized with AI

Posted Sep 26, 2017 by Karen Graham
International hotel search engine Trivago acquired Hamburg, Germany machine learning startup, Tripl last week as it ramps up its product with personalization technology, giving them a customer-centric approach.
Trivago s web page
Trivago's web page
Trivago
Trivago was founded in 2005 for travelers in Germany, but the company quickly expanded throughout Europe by 2009 and now searches 1.8 million hotels in over 190 countries, says the company. Trivago is a meta-search engine, indexing over 200 booking services with a platform available in 33 languages.
While Expedia bought a part of the company for $623 million in 2012, Trivago still continues to index all providers of hotel bookings. The travel site has done well by using a simple approach in its advertising - like the "Trivago guy," and the "Trivago girl," pointing to superimposed listings showing various room prices.
Trivago ads always ask   Where would you like to go?
Trivago ads always ask, "Where would you like to go?"
Trivago
Trivago has been through some rough patches and now, with strong competition from the likes of Priceline, TripAdvisor, and Google, they have come to realize just how fragile a company's dominance can actually be if based on technical performance, and we all know that we live in an age of ever-evolving technologies.
“It’s an angle that we so far have not had that much experience in, and the acquisition allows us to catch up in that dimension,” says Trivago’s CFO, Axel Hefer, who did not disclose what the company paid for Tripl.
The Tripl algorithm
Tripl was founded in 2015 Hendrik Kleinwächter. He also developed an algorithm that gives tailored travel recommendations by identifying trends in users' social media activities and comparing it with in-app data of like-minded users. With its launch in July 2015, users could sign up only through Facebook, potentially sharing oodles of profile information such as friends, relationship status, hometown, and birthday.
With Trivago's acquisition of Tripl, Kleinwächter will join Trivago's development team to continue breaking new ground in personalization.
Ciao Roma! Have you been?
Ciao Roma! Have you been?
Trivago
The AI-driven product imitates the way a travel agent would recommend hotels and their services that may be relevant to the particular user based on the user's social media likes, all the while combining the experience with the ease of using an online service.
"When visiting a restaurant, I prefer those with few hand-picked entries on the menu, that exactly match my taste. That is what I believe a modern travel website should look like. There are billions of combinations, but the user is really only interested in the most relevant ones - we offer them through our algorithm", Kleinwächter said.
"We believe our competitive advantage is the speed of our learning. We have always focused on machine-learning and the area of semantic analysis," said Rolf Schrömgens, founder, and CEO of Trivago. "Tripl's personalization technology is unique and individual in its approach, putting us one step closer toward bringing each traveler into their ideal hotel."