Business Confidence and International Tourism Demand: Evidence from a Global Panel of Experts

Valeria Croce

Volume 16 Issue 1

Global Journal of Management and Business

In 2003, the United Nations agency for tourism (UNWTO), established a Panel of Tourism Experts, to collect regular information on the short-term development of tourism. Experts’ opinions are since used to estimate a confidence index, which offers fairly accurate information on the current and future development of the tourism sector worldwide and by macro-regions. The significance of this instrument became evident during the 2008/2009 economic and financial crisis, when indications about the impact and duration of the crisis were scarce, but particularly relevant to a sector having experience virtually uninterrupted growth until then. As the crisis unfolded, the constant revision of key explanatory variables of tourism demand, such as GDP and inflation, jeopardized the accurateness of model-based forecasts, while soft information collected through the Panel provided accurate indications about the evolution of the crisis. This occurrence renewed interest in the value of such a simple, but effective forecasting tool (Croce, Wöber et al. 2015, Croce 2016).