San Juan, PR – Governor of Puerto Rico Ricardo Rosselló announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC) and the office of the Puerto Rico Innovation & Technology Service (PRITS) to establish a digital archive of data on the performance of tourism activity on the Island.
This repository of tourism competitiveness data will be known as the Tourism Intelligence Platform and will capture the universe of available statistics and indicators to inform tourism decision making in both public and private sectors.
On the platform, hotels will report their performance information daily, including occupation and origin.
Similarly, the digital space will unify the data of the room tax, the airlines tax, and the Ports Authority tax; as well as traveler surveys and market data that the Puerto Rico Destination Management Organization (DMO) may provide, among others.
“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”, said the chief executive.
Additionally, the executive director of the PRTC, Carla Campos, informed that “the duty that has been extended to us by Governor Rosselló to convert the PRT 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.”
Campos also assured that “with this new platform we will be able to rely on live information, in a modern way, with 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, 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.
Campos explained that the mechanism of statistics inherited in the PRTC does not respond to current trends and that it often receives limited data, as well as manually.
The creation of the Tourism Intelligence Platform – which will be built by PRITS for the PRTC – will overcome these challenges, to achieve visibility and transparency of the real performance of tourism. This economic activity is identified as a priority for the swift resurgence of the local economy in accordance with the Plan for Puerto Rico and the Recovery Plan.
The platform seeks to generate visibility, transparency, competitiveness, productivity and accountability of the industry and government management.
The information will also strengthen the capacity of the central Government to handle any emergency in the destination in an agile and efficient manner.
For her part, the chief innovation officer and executive director of PRITS, Glorimar Ripoll, commented that “the alliance between PRITS and the PRTC represents the way our office seeks to collaborate with other agencies for the execution of the innovation agenda of our Government.”
Ripoll also added that “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 industry.”
The unique repository of tourism intelligence will generate monthly and seasonal reports to which the private sector and related entities will have access. Likewise, through the platform, periodic requests for information can be answered in an agile and efficient manner.
As it was explained, this new tool aims to strengthen the role of the PRTC as a destination management entity, whose approach is to increase tourism competitiveness.
The platform will be integrated into the intelligence tool of the central Government, The Intelligent Matrix (TIM), also developed by PRITS.
The chief executive said that “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.”
Similarly, Rosselló added 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 our Tourism Company to better serve the needs of the sector.”
PRITS is carrying out a diagnosis of the existing systems of the PRTC, in other government agencies and in private sector entities.
Afterwards, the development phrases of the platform will be worked on to meet the identified needs. The platform is expected to be ready between July and December 2019.