Monday, September 24, 2018

Puerto Rico looks to leverage tourism data with new platform

By on September 10, 2018

SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico’s Tourism Co. (PRTC) and Innovation & Technology Service (Prits) office have signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a tourism activity-related database.

The archive to make tourism competitiveness data more accessible will be called the Tourism Intelligence Platform and will comprise the statistics and indicators available “to inform tourism decision-making in both the public and private sectors,” according to the governor’s office, La Fortaleza.

Hotels will be expected to report their performance information daily, including the “occupation and origin” of guests. The database will also include the “room tax, the airlines tax, and the Ports Authority tax; as well as traveler surveys and market data that the Puerto Rico Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) may provide,” the release reads.

“PRITS is carrying out a diagnosis of the existing systems of the PRTC and identifying the universe of data available in the PRTC, in other government agencies and in private sector entities,” according to La Fortaleza. “Afterward, the development phases of the platform will be worked on to meet the identified needs. The platform is expected to be ready between July and December” next year.

“In a real and tangible way, we materialize the commitment of this administration to transform through innovative and technological solutions what has not worked historically. This project of the Tourism Company and PRITS will serve as a model for other government agencies and economic sectors to prioritize the effective management of sectoral information,” Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said when announcing the agreement.

“The duty that has been extended to us by Governor Rosselló is to convert the [Tourism Co.] into the entity that centralizes the data universe available on the economy of the visitor in various agencies and entities. We need an updated radiography of the tourism activity at all times,” Tourism Co. Executive Director Carla Campos is quoted as saying in the published announcement.

Campos also assured that “with this new platform we will be able to rely on live information, in a modern way, with a real, trustworthy, and correct database. With the technical support of PRITS, the Tourism Intelligence Platform will allow us to put aside subjective interpretation to measure tourism competitiveness and thereby inform decision-making.”

Historically, La Fortaleza wrote, tourism performance statistics “have not been used in a timely or correct manner. They have been decentralized in different agencies and entities and have also been published late,” with Campos adding that the Tourism Co., a government-owned corporation, “often receives limited data, as well as manually.”

The database is intended to provide “transparency, competitiveness, productivity, and accountability” in the industry and the government’s management, La Fortaleza said. “The information will also strengthen the capacity of the central Government to handle any emergency in the destination in an agile and efficient manner.”

Prits CIO and Director Glorimar Ripoll, GOv. Ricardo Rosselló and Tourism Co. Executive Director Carla Campos (Courtesy)

“The Tourism Intelligence Platform will optimize processes and data management through digital experiences and modern technology, serving as the basis of a solid and innovative tourism industry,” said the chief innovation officer and executive director of Prits, Glorimar Ripoll.

The “tourism intelligence platform” will be “integrated into the intelligence tool of the central Government, The Intelligence Matrix (TIM),” which was also developed by Prits, and will generate monthly and seasonal reports to which the private sector and related entities will have access, La Fortaleza said, adding that requests for information “can be answered in an agile and efficient manner.”

“We continue to bet on tourism and the economy of the visitor as the cornerstone of our economic development. In the past year and a half, we have observed how tourism has become an economic sector of recovery, despite having faced great challenges. In this period, government management has been key to the resurgence of a sector and to facilitate the empowerment of the private sector,” the governor said, adding that “structural reforms—such as the creation of the DMO to market the destination—are a reality today and our next step is to strengthen the management capacity of the Tourism Company to better serve the needs of the sector.”

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