Forecasting in a Mixed Up World: Nowcasting Hawaii Tourism

Carl Bonham, Peter Fuleky, Economy, Publications, Working Papers

We evaluate the short term forecasting performance of methods that systematically incorporate high frequency information via covariates. Our study provides a thorough introduction of these methods to the tourism literature. We highlight the distinguishing features and limitations of each tool and evaluate their forecasting performance in two tourism-specific applications. The first uses monthly indicators to predict quarterly tourist arrivals to Hawaii; the second predicts quarterly labor income in the accommodations and food services sector. Our results indicate that compared to the exclusive use of low frequency aggregates, including timely intra-period data in the forecasting process results in significant gains in predictive accuracy. Anticipating growing popularity of these techniques among empirical analysts, we present practical implementation guidelines to facilitate their adoption.

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