The US is arguably the mecca of personality (dis?)orders with psychologists having a neat box to slot just about every personality trait known and unknown to mankind. But just as one might have thought that the list of personality traits – good, bad and weird – is all but complete along comes one that could be of interest (and use) to the hospitality field: the travel personality as reported in the Wall Street Journal (subscription required). While standard personality tests such as the Myers Briggs Type Indicator are used to ascertain personality types for a variety of career and personal related reasons, the travel personality test “pegs people into six different profiles” via a website that enables users to get travel suggestions for free. The site is the “outcome of 40 years researching travel preferences and decisions, from which coach seats are most comfortable on airplanes to how resorts and European capitals can best pitch to tourists” by Stanley Plogg, Ph.D. and Mr. Bahir Browsh, a former Trans World Airlines executive and Travel Channel president.
The Wall Street Journal column notes that “based on Dr. Plog’s database of travel surveys on what destinations were most satisfying to what type of people, the site suggests places to go that fit your travel personality. It’s a scientific version of the service of a very good travel agent — someone who would get to know clients, figure out what they like and suggest appropriate trips. (And many travel agents already use software that helps them target trips for clients.) But with so many people now booking their own trips, some study of your inclinations and preferences can help avoid unsatisfactory vacations”.
While Best Trip Choices is focused on providing a “solution” for individuals looking for travel destinations it would be nice to have a ready reckoner that determines if a particular hotel fits the traveler’s personality and vice -versa. That could well refine current notions of segmentation in the industry.