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Growth predicted for Caribbean economies

Economic-GrowthBrades— The region is poised for growth this year according to the World Bank which is forecasting a 2.5 per cent growth for Caribbean Countries in 2016. This projection is contained in the latest semi-annual report by the World Bank’s Chief Economist Office for Latin America and the Caribbean.

This report indicates that Latin America and the Caribbean region are expected to contract by zero point nine per cent in 2016 and anticipates that South America, which has borne the brunt of the fall in commodity prices and in Chinese growth, is expected to contract by more than two per cent this year. However, it says for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean growth is expected to remain positive in 2016 coming in at 2.5 per cent. The World Bank explains that this is because these countries depend less on commodity exports and are more closely tied to the economic recovery in the United States.

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 and the Region has to some effect revamped its approach, recognizing the need for a more harmonized and strategized approach to its tourism marketing efforts. The OECS Commission recently 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 that 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 the vital Tourism sector in the OECS.

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.

This project commenced in January 2016 and is slated to end in December 2017.

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 competiveness 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,” an OECS news release states. “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,” the OECS Commission notes. “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.

Meanwhile, the World bank says while remittances to all developing countries edged up slightly in 2015, the Latin America and Caribbean region saw the most rapid growth rate in remittances in that year. The Bank says the region’s 4.8 percent growth was due to the recovery in labour markets in the United States and it forecasts remittances are expected to reach US$69.3 billion this year, up from US$66.7 billion last year. Overall, the World Bank said remittances to developing countries grew only marginally in 2015, as weak oil prices and other factors strained the earnings of international migrants and their ability to send money home to their families.

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.

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Economic-GrowthBrades— The region is poised for growth this year according to the World Bank which is forecasting a 2.5 per cent growth for Caribbean Countries in 2016. This projection is contained in the latest semi-annual report by the World Bank’s Chief Economist Office for Latin America and the Caribbean.

This report indicates that Latin America and the Caribbean region are expected to contract by zero point nine per cent in 2016 and anticipates that South America, which has borne the brunt of the fall in commodity prices and in Chinese growth, is expected to contract by more than two per cent this year. However, it says for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean growth is expected to remain positive in 2016 coming in at 2.5 per cent. The World Bank explains that this is because these countries depend less on commodity exports and are more closely tied to the economic recovery in the United States.

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 and the Region has to some effect revamped its approach, recognizing the need for a more harmonized and strategized approach to its tourism marketing efforts. The OECS Commission recently 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 that 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 the vital Tourism sector in the OECS.

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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.

This project commenced in January 2016 and is slated to end in December 2017.

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 competiveness 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,” an OECS news release states. “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,” the OECS Commission notes. “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.

Meanwhile, the World bank says while remittances to all developing countries edged up slightly in 2015, the Latin America and Caribbean region saw the most rapid growth rate in remittances in that year. The Bank says the region’s 4.8 percent growth was due to the recovery in labour markets in the United States and it forecasts remittances are expected to reach US$69.3 billion this year, up from US$66.7 billion last year. Overall, the World Bank said remittances to developing countries grew only marginally in 2015, as weak oil prices and other factors strained the earnings of international migrants and their ability to send money home to their families.

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.