Doris Chenguang Wu is Professor of tourism demand forecasting in the School of Business at the Sun Yat-sen University, China. Her research interests include tourism demand modeling and forecasting, and tourism big data analytics. She is the founder of Tourism and Hospitality Section (THS) of IIF, a board director of IIF, and Outstanding Young Scholar of International Association for China Tourism Studies (IACTS). She co-edited a special issue of “Tourism forecasting – New trends and issues” for Tourism Economics in 2019, and a special issue of “Big data analytics and forecasting in hospitality and tourism” for International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management in 2021. In addition, she has led several research grants and consultation projects in the areas of tourism demand forecasting and tourism economics funded by National Natural Science Foundation of China and Guangdong Provincial government of China.

How did you become a forecaster?
I received my bachelor and master’s degrees in macroeconomic statistics in 2002 and 2005 respectively. Then I joined the Hong Kong Polytechnic University as a research assistant and got the chance to work on a forecasting project for the first time in my life. The topic of the project is tourism demand forecasting combination, led by Professor Haiyan Song, who then became my PhD supervisor. Using data of Hong Kong inbound tourist arrivals from its 10 source markets, we examined the performance of combination forecasting, employing simple average and a number of weighted average combination techniques. Inconsistent with my original expectation that combination forecasts can beat the best individual model, our results indicated that though combination forecasts cannot beat the best individual model, they outperform the average performance of the individual models involved. Therefore, forecasting combination is an effective way to decrease forecasting failure risk, and achieves good forecasting performance especially when we don’t know which model can perform best in a certain situation. I am quite excited about our results since they are very useful for practices. At the time we completed this project, I was pretty sure I would like to become a forecaster and continue to work in this field. Oh, I just realized I have been working in tourism forecasting area for sixteen years!

What areas of forecasting interest you?
I am very much interested in forecasting combination which is where I started my academic career. Recently, I have become interested in probabilistic forecasting, scenario forecasting, and forecasting with big data. Nowadays online tourist behaviors such as searching, writing reviews, and posting photos provide us new data and perspectives for tourism demand forecasting which is very interesting.

How has the International Institute of Forecasters influenced you?
I attended my first ISF in 2009 when I was a PhD student, and that is the time I got a strong attachment to this community. The community continuously provides me cutting-edge knowledge and great research ideas. I also love the culture of this community. People I met here are not only wise, but also open-minded and very friendly. I attended ISF on a regular base and IIF enhances my interest in forecasting. Recently I was elected as an IIF board director and founded Tourism and Hotel Section of IIF. In the future I hope I can further contribute to this fantastic community.

What do you do in your free time?
In my free time I enjoy social gathering with friends, reading and watching movies. I also enjoy exploring research ideas with a glass of wine!