Reading Tea Leaves in the Tourism Industry: A Case Study in the Gulf Oil Spill
13 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2011
Date Written: March 24, 2011
There has been significant interest from the travel industry in using search data to predict hotel bookings and other travel-related expenditures in advance. When we compared Google Trends data with a reference travel dataset from Smith Travel Research, Inc, we find that searches for travel take place on Google typically a few weeks to about a month before the actual travel. We then used time series techniques to forecast lodging demand in the Gulf region following the Gulf oil spill and estimated the impact of the oil spill. We found that demand in the non-Gulf region rose while demand in the Gulf region decreased. The findings were consistent at the state level and metro level.
Keywords: Google Trends, Gulf Oil Spill, Tourism, Demand Forecast
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