In this paper, we model and forecast Australian domestic tourism demand. We use a regression framework to estimate important economic relationships for domestic tourism demand. We also identify the impact of world events such as the 2000 Sydney Olympics and the 2002 Bali bombings on Australian domestic tourism. To explore the time series nature of the data, we use innovation state space models to forecast the domestic tourism demand. Combining these two frameworks, we build innovation state space models with exogenous variables. These models are able to capture the time series dynamics in the data, as well as economic and other relationships. We show that these models outperform alternative approaches for short-term forecasting and also produce sensible long-term forecasts. The forecasts are compared with the official Australian government forecasts, which are found to be more optimistic than our forecasts.
Keywords: Australia, domestic tourism, exponential smoothing, forecasting, innovation state space models.