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  5. METI Starts Big Data Analysis Contest on Tourism Forecasting

METI Starts Big Data Analysis Contest on Tourism Forecasting

October 24, 2018

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has been engaging in an effort for encouraging businesses tackling data sharing (i.e., data collection and utilization), with multiple businesses to utilize more big data practices. As part of this effort, on October 24, 2018, METI started a big data analysis contest on forecasting the number of tourists who may stay in accommodations in Japan. METI wishes that many of you will enter the contest.

1. Purpose

As an effort for encouraging businesses tackling data sharing (i.e., data collection and utilization), with multiple businesses to utilize more big data, METI has been supporting the Project for Encouraging Companies to Share Industrial Data under the FY2017 supplementary budget. As part of this effort, on October 24, 2018, METI will start a big data analysis contest on forecasting the number of tourists who may stay in accommodations in Japan. Specifically, the contest will focus on the development of algorithms on tourism forecasting and the entries will compete for accuracy of data analysis using big data provided by sponsor companies and entities. METI will call for general participants, including students, from a wide variety of fields inside and outside Japan and hold the contest online to provide an environment in which many people can smoothly participate. Through this analysis contest targeting industrial challenges and data, METI will aim to uncover outstanding data scientists, match such scientists with sponsor companies and entities that have provided data to the contest, and foster such scientists.

In light of the forthcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, Japan is expected to enjoy an increase in the number of overseas tourists and large-scale economic effects. To meet expectations, Japan needs to develop the tourism industry from the standpoint of regional vitalization. As one of the approaches to this end, Japanese industries have been paying attention to data utilization. Entries in the contest will utilize: [i] past data on accommodation reservations and achievements in regions (cities, towns and villages) across Japan, which are the data accumulated in the Tourism Forecast Platform database, and [ii] various types of data provided by sponsor companies and entities, to forecast the number of tourists who may stay in accommodations in areas nearby national parks, which are Japan’s precious tourism resources, and will develop algorithms on tourism forecasting. METI will award developers who have created outstanding algorithms with high forecast accuracy and modeling ideas.

2. Outline of the contest

(1) Subject: Tourism

(2) Assignment:

Entries in the contest will be required to use past data on accommodation reservations and achievements in regions (cities, towns and villages) across Japan and to forecast the number of tourists who may stay in accommodations in nearby areas of the eight national parks as below, targeting one year from January 1 to December 31, 2017.

(3) Data provided by sponsors:

Entries will utilizedata on the number of tourists who stayed in accommodations in nearby areas in the eight national parks above, targeting two years from January 1, 2015, to December 31, 2016 as well as a variety of data provided by the following sponsors.

Note:
In addition to the data mentioned above, METI recommends entries to access the Regional Economy and Society Analyzing System (RESAS), a database provided by METI and the Secretariat of the Headquarters for Overcoming Population Decline and Vitalizing Local Economy in Japan under the Cabinet Secretariat, to utilize the functions of the database for browsing and analyzing statistics and data on tourism.

(4) Eligibility of entries:

Anyone can enter the contest.

(5) Period of the contest: From October 24 (Wed.) to December 17 (Mon.), 2018

(6)Prizes:

First prize:
Invitation for a two-person trip to a national park of the winner’s choice
Second and third prizes:
Invitation for a two-person trip to Ise-Shima National Park and a lunch meal at Ebiya restaurant in Ise City
Note:
For details of the contest, please visit the contest website.

(7) Process of assessment

Examiners will assess the accuracy of the completed algorithms using the Mean Absolute Error (MAE), a function, as a criterion for the assessment.

(8) Determination of the winners:

Early January 2019 (tentative)

(9) Official website of the contest:

If you wish to enter the contest, visit the following website and confirm the information on how to participate.

Note:
The website will be shown in English if you access the website on a computer whose browser language is English or from overseas facilities.

3. Participating associations of the contest

Organizer:
METI
Supporter:
Tourism Forecast Platform Council
Cooperator:
JTB Corp.
Data providers:
Hotto Link Inc.; Nightley Inc; Jorudan Co., Ltd.; Agoop Corp.; Wire and Wireless Co., Ltd.; COLOPL, Inc.; Japan Meteorological Agency; and NIED
Note:
More data providers may additionally participate in the contest

Division in Charge

Information Economy Division, Commerce and Information Policy Bureau