Tourism Institute for the OECS in the Works

The OECS Commission has signed a Grant Agreement with the World Bank to execute a project to develop a harmonized framework for collecting and reporting Tourism Market Intelligence Data in the OECS.
According to a release from the OECS Commission in St. Lucia, this framework will allow participating countries to collect, organize, report and use the statistical data necessary for tourism market intelligence and ultimately enhance the quality of decision-making in vital Tourism sector in the OECS.
Tourism is by any measure the lead economic sector in the OECS, accounting for almost half of the region’s GDP and labour force respectively. Given this heavy reliance on tourism for economic prosperity in the OECS, it is of paramount importance that the industry is effectively developed and managed to ensure its competitiveness and sustainability. The need for accurate, timely and reliable information on the tourism sector cannot be overemphasized in light of the ever-changing dynamic tourism industry. Empirically derived data can play a pivotal role in the OECS in empowering tourism policy makers to make more informed decisions for tourism planning, policy making and marketing.
Notwithstanding, there is a notable lack of marketing intelligence to enable countries of the OECS to monitor tourism market dynamics nationally, regionally and globally.
For the most part, the research agenda of most tourism entities in OECS Member States is restricted to the collection and analysis of data on tourist arrivals and expenditure. The methodology for data collection and reporting in Member States also differs across Member States, with the absence of a proper framework for monitoring of global market trends in tourism. Such deficiencies relative to marketing intelligence present dire implications for the ability of OECS Member States to make sound strategic business decisions.
This project to develop a regional market intelligence system will involve three components:
1. Diagnosis and Preparation of Recommendations for constructing a harmonized regional approach for tourism market intelligence work, including data collection and analysis.
2. Introduction of a Common Methodological and Institutional Framework for Tourism Market Intelligence; and
3. Capacity-building towards standardized and harmonized statistics.
The project is expected to commence in January 2016 and end in December 2017.