In the last few months there has been great excitement in personalization of the holiday experience with major hotel chains adopting mood matchmaker.Travel personality based pairing. Even the OTAs have moved into the arena – Expedia declared it as the new frontier for travel bookings. AirBnb is testing its own version of mood matching. Both offer news ways of pairing hotel and holiday experiences to travelers who are looking for a custom made vacation that fits their very special needs and character.
Marriott hotel and AccorHotels have both adopted the approach or are experimenting with it. It makes sense as travelers today are looking for experiences that fit their mood and their personality and the old ways of finding hotel by location, price and amenities does little to fulfill their expectation.
Psychology Applied to Travel By Professional Psychologist
Its interesting to note that the early users of personalization based on mood and personality have not developed the solution themselves but outsourced it to established psychological and personality branding companies. Pioneers in developing this technology are companies such as Travelsify, Traitify and PersonaHolidays. (See comparison at MatchMaket.Travel).
All are using different approaches in finding a different way to personalize holiday vacations. They are moving on from search based on amenities alone to make search a more enlighten experience in tune with what travelers are really looking for: A personal Experience.
Amenities Take a Back Seat to Mood Matching Experiences
Amenities are not what travelers dream of and they do not describe the experience. To fulfill dreams hotel search needs to understand the psychology of the traveler and predict their travel aspirations. The new personalization solution know this and have unique and innovative ways to create personal vacation experiences that resonate with the psyche.
Travelsify has studies reviews of hotels to establish a set of words that travelers use to describe their stay at a hotel. The words are travel experience specific terms that reflect the cultural variances in hotel perception. They include words one would expect like nightlife, gourmet and luxury. But not so typical are vintage, classic, zen and spacious. Words that you may find in in guest reviews and yet are seldom used in hotel search engines, booking systems and holiday planning. It makes absolute sense to use these emotional preferences in holiday planning and in selecting your preferred holiday experience. This is the approach that AccorHotels in using in their Mood Matchmaker.
The MatchMaker.Travel Engine
Traitify requires travelers to do a visual quiz. This is the Matchmaker approach that Marriott is using. It it effective but asking travelers to complete a quiz is a very big barrier. Many travelers just will not bother with it.
PersonaHolidays has a different matchmaker.travel strategy although many of the same words that are used in the Travelsify solution are also part of the PersonaHolidays personalization. However, they are not overt. Instead each hotel undergoes a professional persona branding assessment that create its own unique character and matchwords. Travelers are assessed by an inference engine that monitors every interaction and established their travel persona by inference. The hotel holiday experience and traveler are matched by the matchwords (emotional triggers) associated with each.
We will see more personality based search solutions in the future as personalization is a key trend and need in travel. Interestingly the opportunity is creating new startups with skills and experience based in psychological assessment, motivation and visualization using highly adaptive technology that will work with established systems.