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Bahamas Not Exploited Data From 100m Visitors

By NATARIO McKENZIE

Tribune Business Reporter

nmckenzie@tribunemedia.net

A FORMER tourism minister yesterday said the Bahamas must use visitor data to assess trends and make better "business decisions", adding: "We haven't used it to the degree we should have".

Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, founder of the Bedford Baker Group, speaking as KPMG launched its Centre for Excellence said captured visitor data should be used to guide decision-making in the sector.

"Over the last 30 years you have 100 million people come to the Bahamas, and these people provide us with more information on themselves than any company could possibly get because they provide the information at the border," said Mr Vanderpool-Wallace.

"When you start with that alone we have such a wealth of data that can now begin to yield us the kind of information which could be used in guiding decision-making. There is no country on earth that potentially has that kind of information."

He added that data could be used to look at trends in the sector and allow for 'business decisions' to be made.

"Just looking at data by itself it doesn't have much value," Mr Vanderpool-Wallace said.

"You need people who understand tourism to know what is noise and what is good information. You have to separate noise from knowledge in order to make the right kinds of decisions.

"It's like an oil well yet to be tapped. We haven't squandered anything, we haven't lost the information, we just haven't used it to the degree we should have been, but I think the opportunity hasn't been lost at all."

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