Ministry of Tourism unfolds their 21st century dashboard and digital tools

A dream scenario is reality. The Ministry of Tourism now has a 21st century dataroom and tourism businesses all around the country are being given access to the information to help all make better decisions and monitor the industry. “At the Ministry of Tourism we are making decisions with data, we now have the information to make better decisions and become more competitive and transparent,” said Tourism Minister David Collado when presenting the new digital tools on 3 March 2021.

Tourism Minister David Collado presented the Ministry of Tourism Intelligence Center (OneMITUR), a comprehensive technological platform with several tools for increased efficiency in Ministry of Tourism services.

The activity was held on the morning of Wednesday, 3 March 2021 at the Hotel Embajador in Santo Domingo. The Ministry of Tourism says the services will be available online as of Monday, 8 March 2021.

The Ministry of Tourism now has the tools only a click away to know how the industry is doing in real-time, in arrivals and hotel occupancy. The Ministry is now tied into the database of the Migration Agency that compiles statistics on arrivals and departures at airports.

The Ministry of Tourism announced the new digital tools to make transparent the tourism industry, encourage formality in the sector and help the government and the private sector to make better decisions. Jacqueline Mora, deputy minister for technology at the Ministry of Tourism, coordinates the transcendental effort.

The new digital platforms include the Confotur Online Licensing, digital licensing for hotels, restaurants, bars and spas, the Tourism Intelligence System (SITUR), the Hotel Occupancy App, the RNT/TuCard listing of authorized tourism providers. Also the Touristic Unique Registry (RUT), a new system to identify tourism businesses.

President Luis Abinader was in the first row to learn about the new digital tools. Tourism Rafael Blanco, president of the National Hotel & Tourism Association (Asonahores) and the elite of tourism industry, including Frank Rainieri of the Grupo Punta Cana, accompanied the President at the launch.

President Luis Abinader praised the innovative online platforms and said they are representative of his government’s commitment to transparency and improving public services.

Tourism Minister Collado explained the new digital platform will improve transparency in the sector. He said the initiative is part of a zero red tape strategy, and seeks to eliminate the requirement of many unnecessary documents. For example, he said the Ministry of Tourism has reduced the number of required documents to request a hotel license from 16 to 11.

With these tools, tourism companies will be able to apply online for their Confotur classification and operating licenses. These are licenses provided to those that will receive taxation and other benefits.

A category of temporary license has been added to be flexible in 2021 given the impact of the Covid-19 on the tourism industry. The Ministry of Tourism also announced a 50% reduction in licensing fees. The government is also being flexible with penalties for arrears on licensing fees.

Companies will now receive a digital license, a RNT/TuCard with a QR code for all tourism service providers. The Ministry of Tourism also launches the Touristic Business Unique Registry (RUT)/TuCard. The purchase of this service is to formalize tourism companies to ensure the safety of tourists. Around 300 hotels are the first to be included, for a total of around 65,000 hotel rooms. The plan is that all tour operators, travel agencies, hotels, restaurants, bars and spas, among other tourism businesses, include the RUT in their quotes, billings, brochures with customers.

The TuCard technology is a development of Slack Cards, a venture of young Dominicans. During the announcement, Hernando Taveras, Eddy De Leon, Melvin del Orbe of Slack Cards were recognized for the new platforms.

The Ministry of Tourism also unveiled a Hotel Occupancy app, a platform to which hotels all around the country can report their room availability and occupancy every day to the Ministry of Tourism. “This tool allows us to measure the effectiveness of initiatives, the timely performance of the sector, and provides us with valuable information for decision making,” said Collado. Hotels sharing their data will have access to the Ministry of Tourism data dashboard with real time tourism information.

The event featured also the launch of the Tourism Intelligence System (SITUR). This system combines the information generated by all these platforms, with information obtained from local and international sources, in coordination with other state entities.

With this tool, the Ministry of Tourism takes a step towards innovation and transparency, putting information at the center of modern state management. The new Situr portal allows the user and potential investors to have tourism information in an easy and fast way and recurring reports on tourism and destinations and tourism regions in the Dominican Republic.

Tourism Minister Collado said the new tools enable the DR to compare itself in real time within the country and other countries worldwide. Now government and tourism industry analysts can tell how many tourists are Dominican and how many are foreign tourists. It also helps to monitor both domestic and international statistics.

Likewise, the new tools enable the country to check for the effectiveness of the international and domestic tourism campaigns. Collado explained private sector representatives are present when decisions are made to where funds are allocated for international promotion. Collado says that from investing in cable TV in 2019 and 2020, the Ministry of Tourism is now investing almost 100% of its promotional budget in digital media. He said Expedia reports that the Dominican Republic in these pandemic times is among the top 5 countries with most booking in the world. The dashboard information reveals where tourists are coming from (60% from the United States). It also reveals the age groups of those that are visiting (40% are millennials).

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3 March 2021