The 15th International Institute of Forecasters (IIF) Workshop on Tourism Forecasting was held in the School of Hotel and Tourism Management of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University on 29 June. The workshop was jointly organized by Haiyan Song and George Athanasopoulos, both of whom are directors of the IIF. With the financial support of the IIF, the workshop was able to attract some of the world renowned speakers in the fields of tourism forecasting, including Professors Stephen Witt and Gang Li from the University of Surrey in the UK, Professor Egon Smeral from Modul University Vienna in Austria, Professor Andrea Saayman of North-West University, South Africa, and Dr Nikos Kourentzes from Lancaster University in the UK.
The workshop attracted 22 participants in addition to the speakers from both academic institutions as well as practitioners from both public and private sectors. One of the important features of the workshop is that it provided a platform for researchers to interact with practitioners in tourism forecasting. Among the participants, there were a number of representatives from the Macau Tourism Office and the Hong Kong Tourism Board. They found the workshop particularly useful, as it allowed them to understand more about new developments in tourism forecasting. The academic participants of the workshop also found the presentations given by the speakers very informative and relevant. Dr Bing Pan from the College of Charleston in the USA commented: “This workshop is a timely effort by the IIF, and I have benefited a lot from the materials presented at the workshop, based on which I can develop my own research agenda on tourism forecasting”.