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Tourism makes a significant contribution to the economy of almost every country, so accurate demand forecasting can help in better planning for the government and a range of stakeholders involved in the tourism industry and can aid economic sustainability. Machine learning models, and in particular, deep neural networks, can perform better than traditional forecasting models which depend mainly on past observations (e.g., past data) to forecast future tourist arrivals. However, search<span class="external-identifiers"> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener noreferrer" href="https://doi.org/10.3390/pr9101759">doi:10.3390/pr9101759</a> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener" href="https://fatcat.wiki/release/ginygfjzzzhbpm4yctfoafitpm">fatcat:ginygfjzzzhbpm4yctfoafitpm</a> </span>
more »... s indices (SII) indicators have recently been included as a forecasting model, which significantly enhances forecasting accuracy. In this study, we propose a bidirectional long short-term memory (BiLSTM) neural network to forecast the arrival of tourists along with SII indicators. The proposed BiLSTM network can remember information from left to right and right to left, which further adds more context for forecasting in memory as compared to a simple long short- term memory (LSTM) network that can remember information only from left to right. A seasonal and trend decomposition using the Loess (STL) approach is utilized to decompose time series tourist arrival data suggested by previous studies. The resultant approach, called STL-BiLSTM, decomposes time series into trend, seasonality, and residual. The trend provides the general direction of the overall data. Seasonality is a regular and predictable pattern which re-occurs at fixed time intervals, and residual is a random fluctuation that is something which cannot be forecast. The proposed BiLSTM network achieves better accuracy than the other methods considered under the current study.
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