Photography by Cristina Arias/Cover/Getty Images

This Easy Online Tool Will Help You Plan Your Next Vacation

The new SeekerProject might teach you something about yourself as well.

Have you ever thought of something you once loved to do, and felt a sense of dread? Recently my mom told me she was going “somewhere” for three days on a mini-vacation, and I recoiled. It’s not that this location, which will remain a secret, bugged me, it was the thought of going on a vacation there that made me weak, and unfairly I projected my vacation angst onto my aging mother who barely travels anymore. Just like people outgrow a type of music or a particular fashion style, I wondered if it’s possible that I’ve outgrown travel?

So when French hotel group AccorHotels announced it had built what it described as a “first-of-its-kind immersive sensory experience,” inspired by the Harvard Bias Test, that could gain deeper insights into their guests’ wants and needs, I wondered what this tool would say about me? Accor merged with Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel two years ago (mergers are a thing in the hotel industry these days) so the web-based is meant to help loyalty program members within each group connect and learn more about offerings in the revamped structure. is basically an online tool that you can pull up on your computer or phone, but with the device’s built-in camera, it measures biometric reactions and uses behavioural analysis to assess what guests truly want and need in a travel experience.

When I sit down in front of a laptop, the computer’s camera scans my face, then takes me through a series of images that I must slide into a “Yes” or “No” column, and I’m to do it as quickly as possible (or else the system asks you to start over). The tool wants to collect your most immediate responses. The images appear at firepower speed. Some are abstract and arty, like windows in the rooftop of a gallery, to visuals of a kid with water wings jumping into a pool. If I weren’t in my company boardroom, I could be convinced I’m in a scene from Blade Runner, scanning memories, I also feel like I’m clicking “Yes” to everything. Even with the speed at which I’m clicking I feel this sense of excitement. At the end my behavioral data is then merged with a “biometric multiplier,” achieved via the web cam, to evaluate my responses.

The test lasts all of five minutes before a response comes back to tell me that I prefer rural experiences steeped in relaxation and family time (check). I like both modern and rustic accommodations (check), but overwhelmingly prefer hot sunny environments to cold (sadly I do not ski). I also like extroverted activities (concerts, check, sporting events, check). The app then proceeds to list three possible hotels (funnily enough I have visited two of the country’s mentioned) from the Accor group.

What did the SeekerProject teach me about my travel personality? I still got it. And there are many places waiting to be discovered. Crisis averted.

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