The ‘smart’ way to find your ultimate holiday destination in Europe

Gepubliceerd op
9 januari 2013

Choosing a holiday destination can be a painstaking and time-consuming process for many tourists, both in the Netherlands and elsewhere. To make the job easier, Alterra Wageningen UR developed the website

With the website, internet users can locate what they consider to be the most attractive landscapes in Europe in three steps. The site was unveiled at the Netherlands’ largest holiday fair, 8-9 January in Utrecht. 

Are you looking for your ultimate holiday spot somewhere in Europe? Find it with our unique geographical datasets. Based on the preferences that you fill in yourself, a map is drawn that shows you where in Europe the landscape most closely corresponds to your tastes. With the ‘top 5’ holiday destinations, you know exactly where you need to be. This can save you hours of trawling the Internet. The fully automated search engine may even offer unusual holiday areas that you might not have considered otherwise. 

Your own personal map is drawn based on the preferences that you indicate, such as the month you are going on holiday, type of vacation, temperature and altitude.  For ‘landscape’ you can choose among 16 characteristics, such as ‘woods’, ‘meadow’ and ‘snow’. For all of these features, you specify how much of each you want at your ideal location. The website maps your personal preferences based on objective geographic information. The map is then displayed using Google Maps. With this you can then request all kinds of (tourist) information, like the addresses of hotels, holiday parks and camp grounds. Photographs and videos and, in some places, ‘street views’ show you what your ideal holiday spot looks like in reality.

The website will interest consumers, but it has a scientific objective as well.  If many people use it, valuable data will be generated on what tourists want. The preferences and maps are stored in a fully anonymised database. This data can be used in research on tourism, recreation, and perceptions of landscapes in Europe.

The website targets an international audience, and is therefore in English. But users can click on the ‘translate’ function to display the site in any language. The great success of the Dutch website, which enabled visitors to find their ideal spot in the Netherlands, led to this unique European version.