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Intelligence in Tourist Destinations Management: Improved Attention-based Gated Recurrent Unit Model for Accurate Tourist Flow Forecasting

1
School of Management, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei 230009, China
2
Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Process Optimization and Intelligent Decision-making, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei 230009, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1390; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12041390
Received: 7 January 2020 / Revised: 10 February 2020 / Accepted: 10 February 2020 / Published: 13 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strategic Planning and Management of Tourist Destinations)
Accurate tourist flow forecasting is an important issue in tourist destinations management. Given the influence of various factors on varying degrees, tourist flow with strong nonlinear characteristics is difficult to forecast accurately. In this study, a deep learning method, namely, Gated Recurrent Unit (GRU) is used for the first time for tourist flow forecasting. GRU captures long-term dependencies efficiently. However, GRU’s ability to pay attention to the characteristics of sub-windows within different related factors is insufficient. Therefore, this study proposes an improved attention mechanism with a horizontal weighting method based on related factors importance. This improved attention mechanism is introduced to the encoding–decoding framework and combined with GRU. A competitive random search is also used to generate the optimal parameter combination at the attention layer. In addition, we validate the application of web search index and climate comfort in prediction. This study utilizes the tourist flow of the famous Huangshan Scenic Area in China as the research subject. Experimental results show that compared with other basic models, the proposed Improved Attention-based Gated Recurrent Unit (IA-GRU) model that includes web search index and climate comfort has better prediction abilities that can provide a more reliable basis for tourist destinations management. View Full-Text
Keywords: tourist destinations management; tourist flow forecasting; gated recurrent unit (GRU); attention mechanism; competitive random search (CRS); encoding–decoding; web search index; climate comfort tourist destinations management; tourist flow forecasting; gated recurrent unit (GRU); attention mechanism; competitive random search (CRS); encoding–decoding; web search index; climate comfort
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Lu, W.; Jin, J.; Wang, B.; Li, K.; Liang, C.; Dong, J.; Zhao, S. Intelligence in Tourist Destinations Management: Improved Attention-based Gated Recurrent Unit Model for Accurate Tourist Flow Forecasting. Sustainability 2020, 12, 1390.

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