Analysis and Forecasting of the Number of Overnight Visitors in Poland
Purpose: The complexity of tourism development means that its issues can be considered from various points of view. The aim of the article is to utilize suitable statistical methods to depict and forecast the number of tourists (both domestic and foreign) staying overnight in tourist accommodations in Poland. Design/Methodology/Approach: For the purposes of own research to describe changes in the number of overnight visitors in tourist accommodations in Poland, we employed index methods, and classic trend models paired with ex-ante prediction errors for forecasting. Findings: Over the years, countries worldwide, including Poland, have experienced dynamic growth in tourism – a sector increasingly influencing the economy. The COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented travel restrictions, leading to the downfall of several travel agencies, accommodations, and restaurants, as well as a significant reduction in the number of tourists staying in accommodations. However, through adept statistical methods, we've depicted the shifts in overnight tourist numbers in Poland and presented a short-term prediction of this trend. Practical Implications: Statistical methods prove beneficial in researching tourism development. The theoretical considerations and the results of analyzes and forecasts presented in this paper allow for a broader characterization of the focal phenomenon, aiding socio-economic decision-making and informing future developmental strategies. Originality/Value: Quantitative methods are now widely used in empirical research, including in the field of tourism, and their usefulness is beyond dispute. They are widely used in the processes of analyses, diagnoses and forecasts, and with their use, the description, assessment and prediction of various socio-economic phenomena become more precise. The article draws attention to the fact that appropriate statistical methods can be successfully used to characterize changes in the number of overnight visitors in Poland.