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Forecasting tourism demand to Catalonia: Neural networks vs. time series models

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  • Claveria, Oscar
  • Torra, Salvador

Abstract

The increasing interest aroused by more advanced forecasting techniques, together with the requirement for more accurate forecasts of tourism demand at the destination level due to the constant growth of world tourism, has lead us to evaluate the forecasting performance of neural modelling relative to that of time series methods at a regional level. Seasonality and volatility are important features of tourism data, which makes it a particularly favourable context in which to compare the forecasting performance of linear models to that of nonlinear alternative approaches. Pre-processed official statistical data of overnight stays and tourist arrivals from all the different countries of origin to Catalonia from 2001 to 2009 is used in the study. When comparing the forecasting accuracy of the different techniques for different time horizons, autoregressive integrated moving average models outperform self-exciting threshold autoregressions and artificial neural network models, especially for shorter horizons. These results suggest that the there is a trade-off between the degree of pre-processing and the accuracy of the forecasts obtained with neural networks, which are more suitable in the presence of nonlinearity in the data. In spite of the significant differences between countries, which can be explained by different patterns of consumer behaviour, we also find that forecasts of tourist arrivals are more accurate than forecasts of overnight stays.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economic Modelling.

Volume (Year): 36 (2014)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 220-228

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:36:y:2014:i:c:p:220-228

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/30411

Related research

Keywords: Forecasting; Time series models; Neural networks; Tourism demand; Catalonia;

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References

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  1. Zhang, G. Peter & Qi, Min, 2005. "Neural network forecasting for seasonal and trend time series," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 160(2), pages 501-514, January.
  2. Li, Gang & Song, Haiyan & Witt, Stephen F., 2006. "Time varying parameter and fixed parameter linear AIDS: An application to tourism demand forecasting," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 57-71.
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  4. Kwiatkowski, D. & Phillips, P.C.B. & Schmidt, P., 1990. "Testing the Null Hypothesis of Stationarity Against the Alternative of Unit Root : How Sure are we that Economic Time Series have a Unit Root?," Papers 8905, Michigan State - Econometrics and Economic Theory.
  5. M. Ali Choudhary & Adnan Haider, 2012. "Neural network models for inflation forecasting: an appraisal," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(20), pages 2631-2635, July.
  6. Francis X. Diebold & Robert S. Mariano, 1994. "Comparing Predictive Accuracy," NBER Technical Working Papers 0169, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Zhang, Guoqiang & Eddy Patuwo, B. & Y. Hu, Michael, 1998. "Forecasting with artificial neural networks:: The state of the art," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 35-62, March.
  8. Swanson, Norman R. & White, Halbert, 1997. "Forecasting economic time series using flexible versus fixed specification and linear versus nonlinear econometric models," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 439-461, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Oscar Claveria & Enric Monte & Salvador Torra, 2014. "“A multivariate neural network approach to tourism demand forecasting”," IREA Working Papers 201417, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised May 2014.
  2. Oscar Claveria & Enric Monte & Salvador Torra, 2013. "“Tourism demand forecasting with different neural networks models”," IREA Working Papers 201321, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Nov 2013.

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