How my emotions were used to determine my perfect holiday

The special headset reads emotional activity, which helps Explore.co.uk to determine ideal trips for consumers.

The special headset reads emotional activity, which helps Explore.co.uk to determine ideal trips for consumers.

Watching the trove of golden travel content on YouTube, or getting a glimpse of far-flung destinations on television programmes can get the wanderlust juices flowing, but have you ever wondered if your head's saying the same as your heart?

Shoppers were able to get that question answered this past Tuesday, as adventure travel company Explore.co.uk took to Manchester's Arndale to analyse people's emotions and brain activity, using data to help find their perfect trip.

Explore teamed up with Bright Signals to take advantage of bespoke software which was used to read people's responses to a short travel video, with data collected through a special headset.

Harnessing a technique known as electroencephalography, or EEG, the emotional response to the visual stimuli was then recorded and analysed to determine what trip would suit them most.

I had to have to the headset fitted before watching the footage.

I had to have to the headset fitted before watching the footage.

Explore's setup at Manchester's Arndale shopping centre. 

Explore's setup at Manchester's Arndale shopping centre. 

With the results of a recent survey from Explore finding that that 60% of Mancunians find choosing a destination the most challenging part of booking a holiday, the aim of this experiment was to remove the risk of disappointment for holidaymakers and, ultimately, reintroducing the fun back into the process of planning a holiday.

Deep in concentration as my emotions were being recorded. 

Deep in concentration as my emotions were being recorded. 

My result - cycling in Italy! 

My result - cycling in Italy! 

Ashley Toft, Managing Director at Explore.co.uk said: "When there are so many places to go and things to see, how do you navigate those choices and pick the perfect holiday for you?

"Our new exciting software taps into your brain and will, quite literally, make a holiday recommendation based on your emotional reactions.

"In short, you could say we've created the next generation holiday brochure and we can't wait until consumers try it out."

Clinical Psychologist from the British Psychological Society, Dr Jessamy Hibberd also commented, saying:

"People's emotional responses to experiences and moment in their lives differ greatly, so it's a fascinating reposition using technology to reveal consumers' strongest emotions to travel stimuli and, therefore, the holidays that will fulfil them the most.

"Research shows that doing more of the things you enjoy, particularly if they are meaningful to you, will make you feel good, even when life is difficult or you are stuck doing things you don't enjoy.

"It's not just about doing any old thing, because unless the activity is the right thing for you, it won't have any effect."

A screenshot of one of a result screen. 

A screenshot of one of a result screen. 

In addition to their Manchester Arndale date, they also took their setup to The Oracle in Reading on Wednesday.

Explore currently have over 500 trips available to more than 120 counties, offering once-in-a-lifetime holidays and adventures to some of the world's most exotic locations. To check out their catalogue of trips, head on over to Explore.co.uk.