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Forecasting Tourism Demand with Google Trends For a Major European City Destination

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The purpose of this study is to investigate whether using Google Trends indices for web and image search improves tourism demand forecast accuracy relative to a purely autoregressive baseline model. To this end, Vienna—one of the top-10 European city destinations—is chosen as a case example for which the predictive power of Google Trends is evaluated at the total demand and at the source market levels. The effect of the search query language on predictability of arrivals is considered, and differences between seasonal and seasonally adjusted data are investigated. The results confirm that the forecast accuracy is improved when Google Trends data are included across source markets and forecast horizons for seasonal and seasonally adjusted data, leaning toward native language searches. This outperformance not only holds relative to purely autoregressive baseline specifications but also relative to time-series models such as Holt–Winters and naive benchmarks, in which the latter are significantly outperformed on a regular basis.
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Keywords: CITY TOURISM; FORECAST ACCURACY; GOOGLE TRENDS; MONTHLY DATA; TOURISM DEMAND FORECASTING

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 11, 2016

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  • The aim of Tourism Analysis is to promote a forum for practitioners and academicians in the fields of Leisure, Recreation, Tourism, and Hospitality (LRTH). As a interdisciplinary journal, it is an appropriate outlet for articles, research notes, and computer software packages designed to be of interest, concern, and of applied value to its audience of professionals, scholars, and students of LRTH programs the world over.
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