By Bakori Marbian Nkawa, Contributor
It’s proven that tourism is an emergent market. Nonetheless, for some countries, conquering and maintaining important market shares is problematic. Innovation is a determining factor in ensuring competitiveness and productivity and, to the end, client satisfaction or loyalty. This brief, aims to contribute to understanding the necessity of elaborating and implementing stricto sensu, a tourism intelligence public policy as springboard for the development of tourism.
The restructuring and reconfiguration of the world’s functioning has given economic information a strategic importance to nation-states. Economists who study the dynamics of territories have that. Nowadays, it is pertinent to consider territories or States to be the result of the interactive process of creation and not as a point of departure.
The context of economic intelligence is simultaneously that of globalisation, inequalities and the development of an information society in an economy of international competition which demands competitiveness both at the level of nation-states and enterprises. This questions the validity of organisational approaches to long-term planning, suggesting the need for organisations to make contingency plans and adopt processes which incorporate flexibility and adaptability. Hence, it is imperative to redefining policies, strategies and, to some extent, models of development in order to stabilise the sector in a competitive environment.
Opening to international markets is simultaneously, promising and threatening for the tourism sector which, the majority of the countries agree, has much to offer to their social and economic development. Consequently, pertinent information can reasonably be considered as one of the most important factors to boost performance.
EXPERIENCES FROM OTHER REGIONS
The practice of economic intelligence has little or nothing to do with the size of the industry, it is amoeboid. Investigations of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry in France show that: SE and SME are often more effective than big groups on the matter, because they are imaginative, nimble, flexible, innovating and intuitive. Also, 15 to 20 % of the French companies of less than 200 people practise economic intelligence; more than one-third practices surveillance or monitoring (technological, legal, commercial, competitive); and half of the SE and SME are already showing interest with these practices.
- The experience of “Réseau de veille en tourisme de Montréal”
Initiated by the tourism chair of the Science of Management College at the University of Quebec in Montreal, the “Réseau de veille en Tourisme” (RVT) literally translated “the Tourism surveillance network” officially saw the light on the 30th of January 2004.
The RVT is a specialised body with main objectives: the continuous dissemination of targeted up-to-date and analysed information; and know-how developed both with (in/out) Canada; sensitizing the milieu on the value of strategic information in decision making; and the importance of surveillance even within their companies. Occasionally, collaborators and recognised international experts in diverse sectors of activities of tourism comment on these analyses. They bring in a prospective vision while underscoring future implications for the entire tourism industry. The fruit of their labour is published in a bi-monthly electronic bulletin (le globe-veilleur) which is distributed to over 12,500 subscribers.
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 Driss G. & Xavier R. (sous la direction de), Intelligence économique et veille stratégique; défis et stratégies pour les économies émergentes, Paris, 2005, pp. 86.
According to the Martre Report, Economic intelligence is the totality of coordinated actions of research, treatment and distribution for the exploitation, of information useful to economic actors. These various actions are carried out legally with all the guarantees of protection necessary to safeguarding the patrimony of the company, under the best conditions of quality, time and cost ” (from Henri M., (groupe préside par), rapport du Commissariat au Plan consacré à « l’intelligence économique et la compétitivité des entreprises », La documentation française, 1994, pp. 11). It underscores “useful information needed by the various levels of decision of the company or the community, to work out and implement in a coherent way the strategy and the tactics necessary to the attainment of objectives defined by the company with an aim of improving its position in its competitive environment “. Its ramifications includes: knowledge management, protection of strategic information, risk management and influence.
 Driss G. & Xavier R., op cit. pp.143.
 Brooks. I., Weatherston J. & Wilkinson G., The international business environment, England, 2004, pp. 105.