Smile, please – personalised travel itineraries based on facial expressions

Image recognition is perhaps not the most obvious way of getting travellers involved in trip planning – but a new marketing campaign from Expedia is doing exactly that.

A programme to get consumers interested in the Hawaiian islands has seen Expedia Media Solutions take the personal preferences idea a step further into trying to understand how consumers feel about a product.

The Discover Your Aloha campaign works as follows:

Visitors to the microsite are asked to answer six questions to find out what type of trip they would like (active, sightseeing, chilled, etc).

They then turn on their computer’s webcam and the expression on their faces as they watch a video based on those preferences is analysed to produce the most appropriate itinerary for a potential trip.

Gimmicky, for sure, but an interesting idea to capture the imagination of travellers, perhaps.

Here is the clip based on the author’s preferences:

…with the itinerary then suggested by monitoring the author’s reaction to the clip and earlier preferences:


Digital agency Realise developed the facial recognition software for the webcam view, with Expedia coordinating with the Hawai’i Tourism Authority to create the trip recommendations.

Chief operating officer of the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, Randy Baldemor, says:

“In keeping with our vision to make greater, more effective use of technology to promote Hawai’i, the drone-shot video footage and facial recognition software allows travel consumers to discover the qualities they find most appealing and inspire them to book a trip to the Hawaiian Islands.”

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