Can the tourism industry create the perfect algorithm? One that precisely predicts where a traveler wants to go and what she wants to do when she gets there? Asked to consider this question recently on behalf of the Vixouze Discussions , an annual conference on the future of tourism, my short answer was, Yes.
Predictive analytics in tourism are animated by “recommender systems” which use either the prior online behavior of an individual or a group of individuals who are like each other to ‘predict’ what we would like. Netflix, Amazon and TripAdvisor are examples of companies that use the traces of our digital behavior to predict what else we will like. Leaving aside costs and ethics for the moment, there is no theoretical barrier to more and more nuanced personalization as we all leave more and more digital traces behind. If I have already shared a preference for medium-firm pillows in my hotel room or beach vacations, a recommender system can call out more of the same.