Smart Tourist Destination Management Using Demand Forecasting Techniques: Using Big Data for Destination Demand Forecasting as Part of a Destination Management System

Smart Tourist Destination Management Using Demand Forecasting Techniques: Using Big Data for Destination Demand Forecasting as Part of a Destination Management System

Leo Mrsic (Algebra University College, Croatia), Gorazd Surla (Valamar Riviera, Croatia) and Mislav Balkovic (Algebra University College, Croatia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3645-2.ch011
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Abstract

Tourism destination is the place where tourism demand and supply meet. Destination is often the main reason why people travel. In the first part of the chapter, the research is focused on the fast growth of tourism in the past decade, which does not come without problems. As one of the most discussed problems, the focus is on overtourism, which started as growth potential and moved into a sustainability issue. The scope of this chapter was to continue previous conducted research in the Croatian coastal town Šibenik and build additional scenarios using technological advancements and available data to build a cornerstone for a data-driven Destination Management System. The results of two experiments suggest that usage of simple techniques can be widely adopted in the search for sustainable management of the destination. In the second part of the research, the authors were able to combine data before outbreak of Coronavirus COVID-19 and during its early growth phase in Croatia to show what devastating impact it has on tourist arrivals in a short period of time and demonstrate in real time how fragile tourism demand is.
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Background

Smart tourism will shape the future direction of smart destinations, with huge benefits for both tourism and city development. Smart technology offers exciting opportunities for tourism attraction, with lasting impacts on smart city infrastructure, travel and planning. Every tourist destination wants to grow making it “smart way” is an opportunity not to jeopardize its authenticity and sustainability. Sustainable tourism development must be pursued at the level of destinations. Among others, Ritchie & Crouch argue that “every destination must examine its ability to maintain all dimension of sustainability if it wants to develop and preserve true competitiveness. Competitiveness without sustainability is illusionary.”(Ritchie, J. R. B. Crouch, 2003) They argue that “from a destination management standpoint, it is important to appreciate that sustainable tourism does not attempt simply to control development, but that it also seeks to encourage the development and promotion of appropriate forms of tourism – many of which can actually enhance the environmental, social and cultural well-being of a destination in addition to increasing its economic prosperity.”

Key Terms in this Chapter

eVisitor: Information system called eVisitor developed by The Croatian National Tourist Board, together with the system of tourist boards and other stakeholders, with the aim of simplifying the process of tourist check-in and check-out and the control of tourist tax payments.

Forecasting: A decision-making model used by many businesses to help in budgeting, planning, and estimating future growth. In the simplest terms, forecasting is the attempt to predict future outcomes based on past events and management insight.

Overtourism: The perceived congestion or overcrowding from an excess of tourists, resulting in conflicts with locals. The term has only been used frequently since 2015 but is now the most commonly used expression to describe the negative impacts ascribed to tourism.

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