FORECASTING TOURISM DEMAND WITH ARTIFICIAL NEURAL NETWORKS
Tourism has been viewed as an important player for the economic redevelopment of certain rural regions because of the attraction of landscapes, mountain, and the interest in second-home or investment opportunities at lower prices (Jackson & Murphy, 2002). Even with tourism?s potential for development at all levels, there have been very few studies regarding models for estimating the local impact of tourism (Jackson & Murphy, 2006). To enhance understanding of the nature of forecasting in tourism destinations it is valuable to study systematically the possible estimative of influence that tourism destination has on an area.
The main objective of this study is to present a set of models for tourism destinations competitiveness, using the Artificial Neural Networks methodology. This study focuses on two Portuguese regions - North and Centre - as tourism destinations offering a large range of tourist products, that goes beyond the beach, the mountains, the thermals not forgetting the rural tourism that has growing in the last years. These tourism destinations offer an interesting alternative to the „mass tourism? and have become more competitive, since the last one is normally associated with negative environmental impacts.
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