Persona Holidays Personal Recommendation Engine

The Big Idea of

  • Tourism planning and shopping has not changed in years. OTAs, hotels and wholesalers sell features and amenities all with the same traditional approach. Booking engines are vast, iterative and slow.
  • Travelers are overloaded with choice and inundated with information. They visit 20 to 30 site before making a booking. They are frustrated with systems that are impersonal and overwhelming.
  • Travelers don’t want more choice; they want a personal recommendation by a service they trust and that knows what they want.
  • This presentation demonstrates Persona Holidays, a new travel expert system that delivers highly personal results at the speed of thought.
  • View the PDF to explore the ideas and solution

Travel is Personal

Persona Holidays Matches You with Hotels and Packages by Personality – Hotel Matchmaker

Travel - Expert Systems - Guests - Hosts - Marketing - Technology - About - Contact

More and more travelers are looking for authentic, personal vacations at a time when most travel planning systems filter options by price, location and amenities. This misses the whole point of being personal. Amenities do not define an authentic, personal vacation experience; people, place and character make the difference. Persona Holidays stands alone creating holidays that match your personality. demonstrates that it knows YOU and it finds a hotel and vacation package that is the perfect fit for your personality. Of course, you still get to choose amenities and get the best value. However, personality offers a unique perspective that can make a holiday entirely your own - Exclusively yours.

For the hotel and tourism hosts, personality and character are a vital differentiation at a time when it is feared that travel is becoming a mere commodity in the online distribution systems. Hoteliers want to increase their distribution intelligently and maintain their brand integrity so that they are not just selling hotel rooms as a lowest-price commodity. They are seriously looking for an alternative that will build, maintain and feature their unique brand identity. Commodities look, feel and taste the same, but personality is always unique.

That is why we built PersonaHolidays Personal Recommendation Engine for Travel!

Persona Holidays Expert System is a personalized travel planning experience that matches travelers to hotels and activities based on character.

It is an Expert System that analyses behavior and delivers experiences according to personality matches. That is, it gets to know the personal characteristics of visitors discreetly, without being obtrusive. The system learns with each user click and it pairs visitors up with hotels of like character.

It is a unique intelligent system that extracts relevant information about character based on user behavior and available data.

Persona Holidays creates guest profiles quietly. It does not pry or ask questions or conduct surveys; it simply learns from experience. In the process it builds an integrated database of a guest's personal triggers and instantly matches these with hotels and activities of complementary characteristics. In this sense it is a Hotel Matchmaker. It uses tried and proven technology we developed for RealhHolidays way back at the dawn of the booking engine era.

Live hotel search with persona expert systems

Guests Perspective

This example shows the relationship between the hotel and guest matching. The hotel in this case is categorized with the Connoisseur Identity (on the right). The process of creating the unique hotel brand identity is described below in the Hotels Perspective.

An example of personality traits matching a user's personality and selections so far

The system assigns triggers to guests based on what they do, what they look at, what they dismiss and what they like. In this case, the particular traveler is assigned the characteristics above, i.e. charming, educated, savvy, etc. The hotels that best match these triggers are simultaneously selected as possible candidates. Guests can review their profile and change it at anytime. They may choose to look at different profiles and also modify these to suit. The character traits are refined as the guest proceeds and the matching principles are constantly adjusted based on real-time experience.

Matching hotels shown to the user

Hotels are given a brand ID and a set of triggers similar to the above. In this case, the ID that most closely matches the guest's behavior is "The Connoisseur". The expert system will present the guest with the closest match. In most cases, it will select 3 properties in the category - a High-End, a Mid-Range and a Budget accommodation are the default options for a personality match.

The majority of guests have indicated that the matching and profiling are very helpful. Some have commented that: “This system knows me better that I know myself”.

When trialed on the website, engagement went up 500% over traditional bookings.

Hotels/Host Perspective

All hotels, attractions and activity providers are individually evaluated by the Persona Holidays team. The hotel will need to complete an online survey that asks specific situational question. These questions are interwoven to detect subtle personality drivers that define the main personality archetypes.

The survey takes just a few minutes to create a very focused identity based on communication style and branding. Further analysis of the brand values are also possible but we find that the host identity is sufficient in most cases. The Persona Systems team then extracts traveler-specific details and creates the property matching criteria.

Fascination Advantage® Archetype

Chart showing the Fascination Advantage® Archetypes

Learn More: Download PDF

Discover how the Fascination Advantage® Archetypes are applied to PersonaHolidays Hotel Matchmaker.

Sally Hogshead

The Persona hotel tests are initiated by Sally Hogshead and extracted into Persona Holidays, giving the hotel both a brand and its related travel triggers. The triggers are the actual hotel matchmaker “matchwords” that are assigned by the matchwords engine from the Fascination Advantage® Archetype assessment. The automated process is verified by a hotel specialist who will approve it using commonsense and personal knowledge to be sure is is a good fit.

Sally Hogshead skyrocketed to the top of the advertising profession by age 24, becoming the most award-winning advertising copywriter in the U.S. Her campaigns for brands such as MINI Cooper, Nike, Godiva and Coca Cola have fascinated millions of consumers.

One of the “Top 10 Brand Gurus in the World” in 2015, she went on to measure 700,000 consumers with the science of fascination.

Hogshead appears in media such as “The TODAY Show” and “LIVE with Kelly and Michael”, and has been featured as one of the top five speakers in the U.S. Hundreds of corporations and small businesses use the Fascinate system, including Twitter, IBM and Porsche, as well as universities such as NYU.

Her previous book, “How the World Sees You”, is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller.

Marketing with Animated Review Videos

One of the unique features of the marketing for destination sites is the Review Video production and syndication. Review Videos are produced by the team with an automated system that generates a professional video with a spokesperson. The basic video includes a text overlay of the review against a background of the hotel room or review feature.

Example of hotel review video marketing:

As an option, HolidayHotelReviews (HHR) will animate the video with a professional narration of the text, made alive with videos and images of what the guest is talking about.

The spokespersons we use are freelance actors available to us from agencies we work with independently. Our long term goal is to create videos for the archetypes using actors that portray the character of the brand.

The advantages of using animated video reviews are:

  1. Reviews are viewed by over 90% of shoppers and are one of the most powerful influences in booking
  2. Authentic 3rd party reviews that are animated with video and images showing the exact details of the review are highly engaging and convincing
  3. The review videos are syndicated to the HHR platform, social media and top digital media as well as and to clients' own website and social network


Persona Holidays has been evolving over a decade and perfected for bookings and travel planning technology. The main database is arcRes, one of the first booking engines for small independent hotels. ArcRes is a very flexible structure that accommodates the expert system and allows hotels to configure inventory, room rates, packages and specials according to their own business rules.

It combines three three separate innovations in travel planning and booking technologies.

  1. A Behaviour responsive technology to analyze and match travelers up with hotels of similar character
  2. Visual booking technology with an intuitive graphical user interface that instantly displays option and choices in a visually compelling display
  3. Scientifically based personality and branding analysis to help build a purposeful brand identity that aligns with their target personality

ArcRes as used in Persona Holidays is the graphical user interface and is one of a set of programs that interact with the arcRes database. ArcRes code and database provide the connection between Persona Holidays and 3rd party booking engines, hospitality integrator and multi-channel marketing systems.

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A new way to market travel: highly interactive, intensely visual, respectfully personal, intuitive and immediate!

About The Team

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