Welcome to WebTour 2021

This half-day workshop held in conjunction with WSDM 2021 will focus on the specific challenges for tourism-related information search and recommendations. Planning a vacation usually involves searching for a set of products that are interconnected (e.g. means of transportation, lodging, attractions etc.), with a rather limited availability, and where contextual aspects may have a major impact (timing, social context, environmental context). In addition, and most importantly, products are emotionally “loaded” and considered “experience goods;” therefore, decision taking is not only based on rational and objective criteria (i.e., system 2 thinking). As such, providing the right information to visitors of a tourism site at the right time about the site itself and various services nearby is challenging. Thus, all of this makes building effective web-based systems within tourism extremely difficult. WebTour 2021 aims at attracting participants working in this area to discuss specific issues of interest that are unique to this complicated and attractive domain, topics include specific applications and case studies (evaluation), specific methods and techniques for information search and recommendations, context and mobility, the cold-start problem, preference elicitation, and emotions and recommenders, as well as travel and tourism in the COVID-19 and post-covid era. Researchers and practitioners from different fields are invited to submit research and position papers, project ideas as well as demonstration systems.

WebTour 2021 Challenge

As a part of the WebTour workshop, the WebTour 2021 Challenge organized by Booking.com will take place. It focuses on a multi-destinations trip planning problem, which is a popular scenario in the travel domain. The goal of this challenge is to make the best recommendation of an additional in-trip destination. To do so, Booking.com provides a unique dataset based on millions of real anonymized bookings. Top performing teams will receive prizes sponsored by Booking.com and be invited to submit short papers to the workshop about their solution approach. For more information, the dataset and submission guidelines please visit https://www.bookingchallenge.com.

ACM WSDM 2021 and its related workshops are online events, based in Jerusalem, Israel, will take place from March 8th to March 12th, 2021.