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Hong Kong: Revolutionising Tourism Forecasting

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The School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University has introduced a forecasting platform known as the Greater Bay Area Tourism Demand Forecasting Platform (GBA-TDFP). Spearheaded by Principal Investigator Prof. Haiyan SONG, the platform integrates cutting-edge technologies and interdisciplinary theories to revolutionise tourism demand forecasting in the Greater Bay Area (GBA).

Image Credits: PolyU, Press Release

Through the fusion of economics, tourism management, and computer science, Prof. Song and his team have developed a sophisticated tool that offers invaluable insights for industry professionals, policymakers, and academics.

The GBA-TDFP boasts a multitude of functionalities including big data visualisation, market sensitivity analysis, sentiment analysis, and interactive scenario forecasting. Leveraging vast datasets from sources like Google, Ctrip, and Baidu, the platform provides short-, medium-, and long-term forecasts tailored to diverse economic scenarios.

At the heart of the GBA-TDFP lies its ability to process macroeconomic indicators such as GDPs, CPIs, and exchange rates from GBA cities and their key source markets. This data, sourced from statistical departments and international organisations like the International Monetary Fund, forms the basis for accurate short-term tourism demand forecasting. Moreover, the platform harnesses the power of big data collected from online and social media platforms to anticipate shifts in consumer behaviour and sentiment.

The forecast results paint a promising picture for the GBA’s tourism industry, with inbound visitor arrivals to Hong Kong and Macao expected to rebound significantly by the end of 2024. Mainland Chinese cities within the GBA are also projected to experience a substantial recovery in domestic visitor arrivals and intra-GBA visitor flows. These projections indicate a return to pre-pandemic levels of visitor volume, reflecting the resilience and potential for growth within the GBA tourism market.

One of the key features of the GBA-TDFP is its ability to conduct “what-if” scenario analyses, allowing users to input hypothetical values for determinant variables and generate scenario forecasts. This functionality, accessible through web browsers, enables policy evaluation and decision-making by providing stakeholders with actionable information derived from advanced econometric models.

The integration of cloud computing, big data analytics, and artificial intelligence techniques distinguishes the GBA-TDFP as a pioneering tool in tourism demand forecasting. By transforming vast amounts of data into actionable insights, the platform empowers stakeholders to make informed decisions and maximise the value derived from technological advancements.

Prof. Kaye CHON, Dean of SHTM, emphasises the school’s commitment to bridging the gap between research and practice in the tourism industry. With a focus on technological innovation, the GBA-TDFP represents another milestone in the school’s efforts to address global challenges facing the tourism sector.

The School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University has established itself as a world-leading institution in hospitality and tourism education. With a diverse team of international faculty members and a strong emphasis on research and innovation, SHTM continues to inspire a new generation of professionals to lead the hospitality and tourism industry into the future. Through initiatives like the GBA-TDFP, SHTM remains at the forefront of technological advancement, driving positive change and shaping the future of tourism in the Greater Bay Area and beyond.

The Greater Bay Area Tourism Demand Forecasting Platform (GBA-TDFP) represents a significant leap forward in the field of tourism forecasting, propelled by the convergence of cutting-edge technologies and interdisciplinary expertise.

As the tourism industry in the Greater Bay Area strives for recovery and growth, the GBA-TDFP stands as a beacon of innovation, offering actionable insights and empowering stakeholders to navigate the complexities of an ever-evolving landscape. With its advanced capabilities and commitment to bridging research with practice, the platform exemplifies the transformative potential of technology in shaping the future of tourism. As the School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) continues to pioneer advancements in the field, the GBA-TDFP serves as a testament to the school’s dedication to excellence and leadership in hospitality and tourism education.

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