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uncertainty can make the difference between a going concern and an entity going out of business. From the perspective of the hoteliers, the need for a fast and efficient procurement process which delivers products which are on time on quality may lead them to seek alternative sources of supply, reducing demand for domestically produced manufactured goods. Imports will be the natural alternative. As such, if hotels and their suppliers resort to imports, foreign labour included, then Jamaica’s economy may not gain much from the developments in the tourism industry.

Supply Chain Insights and Policy Recommendations

The logical policy recommendation seems to be that suppliers need to improve on or develop their forecasting capabilities for estimating future demand for capacity in the tourism sector. However, suppliers to the hotel industry (and policy makers) who rely on forecasting face a dilemma. In the short run, they can forecast but cannot act. In the long run, they can act but cannot forecast (Sterman JD. 2000).16 The solution to this dilemna, which will promulgate sustainable growth of the sector, is to abandon forecasting in favour of fore-sighting. Hoteliers, policy makers and other stakeholders must opt for the flexibility and responsiveness to cover simultaneously several future states, regardless of the probabilities. These responses should cover both the best- and worse-case scenarios. Fore-sighting would help managers in the hotel and manufacturing sectors face their own internal logic and assumptions about the future and help them shape their desired outcome in constructive ways and create a culture of change in the way Jamaica approaches the prospects for sustainable growth (Geograntzas and Acar, 1995). Fore- sighting exercises have the power to break old stereotypes. Further, scenarios help rehearse the future, while enabling institutional learning in strategy-design and implementation (Sterman 2000). Assisting stakeholders to avoid surprises, and enabling them to adjust quickly to change and act effectively by facilitating proactive contingency planning. The integration of network-based tools and simulation models, such as presented in this paper, can contribute to the development of such an approach.

16 “Those who have knowledge don’t predict. Those who predict don’t have knowledge” 6th-century BC poet Loa Tzu.


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