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P.R. Tourism Co., gov’t CIO partner to create digital archive of sector activity

The Puerto Rico Tourism Company and the Puerto Rico Innovation & Technology Service (PRITS) office signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a digital data archive of 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 provide information to tourism decisionmakers in the public and private sectors.

Hotels will report their performance information daily on the platform, including occupation and origin. The digital space will unify the data of the room tax, the airlines tax, and the Puerto Rico Ports Authority tax; as well as traveler surveys and market data that the Puerto Rico Destination Marketing Organization 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,” said Gov. Ricardo Rosselló during the signing of the MOU.

“This project will serve as a model for other government agencies and economic sectors to prioritize the effective management of sectoral information,” he added.

Tourism Co. Executive Director Carla Campos, said “the task is to convert the Tourism Co. into the entity that centralizes the universe of data available on the visitor’s economy in various agencies and entities. We need an updated radiography of tourism activity at all times.”

She said with the new platform, the Tourism Co. will be able to rely on real-time information, “in a modern way, with a real, trustworthy, and correct database.”

“With technical support from the PRITS, the Tourism Intelligence Platform will allow us to put aside subjective interpretation to measure tourism competitiveness and in that way, inform on decision-making,” Campos said.

Historically, tourism performance statistics have not been used in a timely or correct manner. They have been spread out through different agencies and entities and have also been published late.

The Tourism Co.’s current statistics mechanism does not respond to current trends and it often receives limited — and sometimes manual — data.

The creation of the Tourism Intelligence Platform by PRITS for the Tourism Co. is meant to overcome these challenges, to achieve visibility and transparency of the real performance of tourism, an economic sector that the government has identified as a priority to revive the local economy.

The platform seeks to “generate visibility, transparency, competitiveness, productivity, and accountability of the industry and government management,” government officials said.

“The information will also strengthen the central government’s capacity to handle any emergency in the destination in an agile and efficient manner,” officials said.

Glorimar Ripoll, the government’s chief innovation officer and executive director of PRITS, said “the alliance between PRITS and the Tourism Co. represents the way our office seeks to collaborate with the other agencies for the execution of our government’s innovation agenda.”

“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,” she said.

The 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, she said.

The platform will be integrated into the central government’s intelligence tool, known as “The Intelligence Matrix,” also developed by PRITS.

Rosselló said “structural reforms — such as the creation of the DMO to market the destination — are a reality and our next step is to strengthen the Tourism Co.’s management capacity to better serve the needs of the sector.”

PRITS is carrying out a diagnosis of the Tourism Co.’s existing systems and identifying the universe of data available there, as well as in other government agencies and in private sector entities.

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 2019, government officials said.

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