Multimedia Tools and Applications

, Volume 76, Issue 2, pp 2787–2811 | Cite as

Hybrid group recommendations for a travel service

  • Toon De Pessemier
  • Jeroen Dhondt
  • Luc Martens


Recommendation techniques have proven their usefulness as a tool to cope with the information overload problem in many classical domains such as movies, books, and music. Additional challenges for recommender systems emerge in the domain of tourism such as acquiring metadata and feedback, the sparsity of the rating matrix, user constraints, and the fact that traveling is often a group activity. This paper proposes a recommender system that offers personalized recommendations for travel destinations to individuals and groups. These recommendations are based on the users’ rating profile, personal interests, and specific demands for their next destination. The recommendation algorithm is a hybrid approach combining a content-based, collaborative filtering, and knowledge-based solution. For groups of users, such as families or friends, individual recommendations are aggregated into group recommendations, with an additional opportunity for users to give feedback on these group recommendations. A group of test users evaluated the recommender system using a prototype web application. The results prove the usefulness of individual and group recommendations and show that users prefer the hybrid algorithm over each individual technique. This paper demonstrates the added value of various recommendation algorithms in terms of different quality aspects, compared to an unpersonalized list of the most-popular destinations.


Recommender system Group recommendations Travel Tourism Hybrid Collaborative filtering Content-based recommender 



We would like to thank Jeroen Dhondt for the work he performed in the context of this research during his master thesis.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Toon De Pessemier
    • 1
  • Jeroen Dhondt
    • 1
  • Luc Martens
    • 1
  1. 1.iMinds - Ghent UniversityGhentBelgium

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