A review of Delphi forecasting research in tourism

Vera Shanshan Lin, Haiyan Song

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


The Delphi technique is the most popular judgemental forecasting method in tourism studies, but theoretical and empirical developments in this area (especially for forecasting purposes) have been slow. This paper analyses published research on Delphi forecasting in tourism and hospitality, explores how the Delphi forecasting method has progressed over the past four decades in terms of topical areas, empirical applications, and issues of reliability and validity, and is thus expected to advance understanding of the Delphi technique, providing topical and methodological recommendations for researchers and industry practitioners for producing accurate forecasts. The literature concerning the qualitative and quantitative applications of Delphi forecasting in tourism is mainly divided into three research themes: event forecasting, forecasting tourism demand, and forecasting future trends/market conditions (the most popular application). Issues of accuracy, reliability, and validity, as well as a group of Delphi-specific characteristics, such as panel size, panel selection, consensus measures, and analysis of results, are summarized and discussed. This study also examines the accuracy of Delphi forecasts as well as exploring the role of the Delphi approach in integrating human judgement into quantitative forecasts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1099-1131
Number of pages33
JournalCurrent Issues in Tourism
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2015


  • accuracy
  • Delphi forecasting
  • evaluation
  • expert panel
  • tourism forecasting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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