A NEURAL NETWORK AND CLUSTER ANALYTIC APPROACH IN TOURISM RESEARCH IN THE UNITED STATES
According to the U. S. Department of Commerce, total current dollar spending related to tourism in the United States in the third quarter of 2011 was $1.2 trillion. Given the importance of this sector of the economy, the authors present a unique way of analyzing and interpreting tourist data using neural networks in conjunction with cluster analysis. The approach is illustrated using a 97 variable survey having 1,271 respondents, with total cost of trip as the desired output. Cluster analysis divides the data into three clusters and identifies their key attributes. Neural networks help analyze the relationship between the various input variables and the total cost of trip for each cluster and perform sensitivity and contribution analysis for each variable.
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