A segmented machine learning modeling approach of social media for predicting occupancy

Apostolos Ampountolas, Mark P. Legg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study aims to predict hotel demand through text analysis by investigating keyword series to increase demand predictions’ precision. To do so, this paper presents a framework for modeling hotel demand that incorporates machine learning techniques. Design/methodology/approach: The empirical forecasting is conducted by introducing a segmented machine learning approach of leveraging hierarchical clustering tied to machine learning and deep learning techniques. These features allow the model to yield more precise estimates. This study evaluates an extensive range of social media–derived words with the most significant probability of gradually establishing an understanding of an optimal outcome. Analyzes were performed on a major hotel chain in an urban market setting within the USA. Findings: The findings indicate that while traditional methods, being the naïve approach and ARIMA models, struggled with forecasting accuracy, segmented boosting methods (XGBoost) leveraging social media predict hotel occupancy with greater precision for all examined time horizons. Additionally, the segmented learning approach improved the forecasts’ stability and robustness while mitigating common overfitting issues within a highly dimensional data set. Research limitations/implications: Incorporating social media into a segmented learning framework can augment the current generation of forecasting methods’ accuracy. Moreover, the segmented learning approach mitigates the negative effects of market shifts (e.g. COVID-19) that can reduce in-production forecasts’ life-cycles. The ability to be more robust to market deviations will allow hospitality firms to minimize development time. Originality/value: The results are expected to generate insights by providing revenue managers with an instrument for predicting demand.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2001-2021
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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