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Foundation for Puerto Rico, Estudios Técnicos develop 1st economic model for tourism

By on July 21, 2017

SAN JUAN — The director of Research and Analysis of Foundation for Puerto Rico (FPR), Arnaldo Cruz, and the CEO of Estudios Técnicos Inc., economist Joaquín Villamil, announced Friday during the forum “Perspectives of a National System of Tourism Statistics” (SNET by its Spanish initials) that both entities are collaborating to build the first economic model of the visitor’s economy, which is expected to be completed by September.

The forum comes about after FPR presented this week its most recent study, “Visitor’s Economy: Toward a National System of Tourism Statistics.”

In that document, the foundation lists the core elements of SNET, which go beyond data collection, because they include the conceptual framework (definitions and concepts), the systems and processes for information and management of estimates; as well as needed collaborative agreements to improve the system in an orderly and systemized fashion.

“This model will allow us to measure the economic impact of tourism activity in all sectors; validating the direct, indirect and induced impacts of visitor’s economy in Puerto Rico. It will also allow us to shatter the perception that tourism in Puerto Rico is only in hotels,” Cruz explained.

Likewise, they presented some recommendations that range from defined concepts, consolidation of information, the creation of a multisectoral Advisory Committee, and the need to work with three fundamental tools for the development of this system: Traveler’s Survey, Product Input Matrix, and the Household Income and Spending Survey that allow, among other things, to get an idea about visitor demographics and consumer patterns.

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The executive director of the Puerto Rico Statistics Institute, Dr. Mario Marazzi, emphasized during his participation in the forum that the institute will begin to work on the Household Income and Spending Survey within the next six months. In that survey, FPR will be working alongside the institute to determine the financial  impact of internal tourism on the island.

In the the next few months, FPR expects to be able to confirm SNET’s Advisory Committee. Likewise, it will continue advocating for the development of an updated Product Input Matrix, and will work in collaboration with the Puerto Rico Tourism Co. to redesign its internal indicators.

Besides Marazzi and Villamil, the forum featured several experts, such as Luis García Pelatti, former president of the Puerto Rico Planning Board, and Antonio J. Fernós, an economist at the Advanced Research Center.

FPR’s study on the visitor’s economy can be downloaded at http://foundationforpuertorico.org/documentos/.

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