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Artificial Intelligence Applications in Tourism

Artificial Intelligence Applications in Tourism
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Author(s): Carey Goh (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong), Henry M.K. Mok (The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong) and Rob Law (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 7
Source title: Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch042


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The tourism industry has become one of the fastest growing industries in the world, with international tourism flows in year 2006 more than doubled since 1980. In terms of direct economic benefits, United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO, 2007) estimated that the industry has generated US $735 billion through tourism in the year of 2006. Through multiplier effects, World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC, 2007) estimated that tourism will generate economic activities worth of approximately US $5,390 billion in year 2007 (10.4% of world GDP). Owing to the important economic contribution by the tourism industry, researchers, policy makers, planners, and industrial practitioners have been trying to analyze and forecast tourism demand. The perishable nature of tourism products and services, the information-intensive nature of the tourism industry, and the long lead-time investment planning of equipment and infrastructures all render accurate forecasting of tourism demand necessary (Law, Mok, & Goh, 2007). Past studies have predominantly applied the well-developed econometric techniques to measure and predict the future market performance in terms of the number of tourist arrivals in a specific destination. In this chapter, we aim to present an overview of studies that have adopted artificial intelligence (AI) data-mining techniques in studying tourism demand forecasting. Our objective is to review and trace the evolution of such techniques employed in tourism demand studies since 1999, and based on our observations from the review, a discussion on the future direction of tourism research techniques and methods is then provided. Although the adoption of data mining techniques in tourism demand forecasting is still at its infancy stage, from the review, we identify certain research gaps, draw certain key observations, and discuss possible future research directions.

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