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Scope of Work Summary:

Pakistan’s losses in the tourism and hospitality sector during COVID 19 stand at an estimated $ 3.64 billion which put additional strains on the already depleting economic resources of Pakistan. The Government of Pakistan ended nationwide lockdowns on August 15, 2020 and  announced a Strategy to Help Mitigate the socioeconomic impacts of COVID 19 on Pakistan’s Tourism Sector. The Strategy is aimed at survival, revival, and accelerated recovery of the tourism sector to stimulate economic growth and sustainable employment opportunities. To compliment this effort, the services of a short term consultant with experience in the tourism and hospitality sector are being sought to analyze post-COVID tourism sector in Pakistan and propose an action plan to the private sector and the Government for the economic revival of the sector. It also aims to make recommendations to the Government to take a proactive stance in tailoring policies and development of the tourism sector. 

1.      Position Title & Department:

  • Consultant for Economic Revival of Tourism – Local Expert

The consultant will work as a team with an international consultant with part of the assignment related to private sector engagement under the Competitiveness Enhancement (CE) Component and propose policy measures to the Government for the Tourism sector revival under the Business Enabling Environment (BEE). This job posting is only for the local consultant position. Applications for the international consultant position will not be accepted through this application link

2.       General Summary:

Chemonics International is implementing Pakistan Small and Medium Enterprise Activity (SMEA), which is a 5-year, $35 million project that is aimed at improvement of financial and operating performance of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Pakistan in selected high-performing industrial, manufacturing and services sectors. The project has worked directly with more than 2000 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across the country. In addition to this, creating an enabling business environment is one of the objectives of SMEA and the project is engaged with the Federal and Provincial Government to identify key areas of collaboration.

Due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, tourism sector has been the hardest hit sector across the globe. Many businesses remained closed for almost half the year from March – August 2020 in Pakistan. Recently, from mid-August 2020 ,owing to a steep decrease in COVID-19 cases, the Government has developed certain standards of protocol (SOPs) and issued a notification for reopening of tourism sector businesses. The industry has begun finding their way back to their routine operations keeping in view the SOPs. The CE component is looking to engage local expertise to work closely with an  international consultant to develop a revitalization plan which will enable the private sector to restart their sector with growth-oriented planning while keeping in mind how to mitigate such related risks in future. The plan will include how to strengthen their operations, utilizing the ICT in service offering and marketing to build the confidence of customers and generate demand. The assignment will also include recommendations for the Government on how to support the revival of the tourism sector post COVID-19.

 3.       Tourism Sector:

As highlighted in the market-led sector analysis conducted by USAID SMEA in 2017, the tourism sector of Pakistan faced a surge in terms of economic growth since 2011 contributing a large chunk to the national gross development product (GDP). In light of the statistics, the number of international tourists visiting Pakistan had steadily increased triple folds since 2013 while domestic tourism increased by 30 percent. The factors, as stated in the market-led sector analysis, required for a vertical and horizontal increase in tourism sector, are an improved law and order situation of the country, increased public sector development program spending and conducive economic polies etc. Moreover, a large number of people located in the tourism centric areas in the north of Pakistan including Gilgit Baltistan (GB), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) etc. are directly or indirectly employed in the tourism sector. Sector stakeholders include Tour Operators, Tour-operating companies, hotels, travel agents and other small food-related businesses. The areas face a peak influx of domestic and international tourists in the months of February – October 2020. Owing to unfavorable weather conditions, the tourism sector remains closed from October – February. The overall improving outlook of the sector led to avenues of considerable growth opportunities for SMEs operating in the sector. To support this growth, USAID SMEA has been helping businesses to further streamline their activities by rendering business development services on cost-share basis.

Given the seasonality of most tourism in Pakistan, the livelihood of a large number of SMEs in these areas is solely focused on the peak season. Unfortunately, the tourism-centric businesses remained closed almost throughout the year owing to COVID-19 and its resulting lockdown leading to inundated losses. The Government of Pakistan, in response to COVID-19, announced a complete lockdown in March 2020 leading to a complete halt of the business activities of tourism sector in the peak season. Moreover, due to the lack of proper healthcare facilities in the country, the Government also acquired some hotels in these areas and converted them to quarantine centers. According to a report published by National Tourism Coordination Board (NTCB), cancellation of all the tour bookings in the spring lead to a net revenue loss of almost 10 million USD as reported by Pakistan Association of Tour Operators (PATO). While, 1.5 million jobs in the tourism sector are at immediate risk.

Furthermore, in the market-led sector analysis under BEE initiatives, SMEA had recognized the need to explore option of engaging an international consultant(s) for sharing knowledge and translating best practices from similar economies. Considering the current scenario of the tourism sector, a need for an international consultant has been realized under Hospitality sector who will work with various industry stake holders and devise a recovery strategy.

4.       Need Assessment for Revival of Tourism in Pakistan:

Since August, the tourism sector has begun to return to normal operations. However, some of the SMEs have gone completely out of business while the rest are struggling hard to make up for the previous month’s losses made. The coronavirus is expected to prevail for an indefinite period. Therefore, the sector is expected to face more challenges and seeks a remedial and innovative course of action for upcoming blackout periods. Also, the tourism sector and its relevant sub-segments need to strategize how to operate under the “new normal” for the sector where health and safety are of paramount concern. Considering the current situation, USAID SMEA proposes inducting a local and international consultant who shall devise an economic revival plan primarily for SMEs (Private Sector) and also the Government to help them prepare for the upcoming tourism season keep them engaged in tourism sector generating profits. The revival plan shall be focused on: -

  • Recommendations and planning related to ensuring health and safety compliances and how to build their services in a way that cater to these requirements.
  • Marketing and communication techniques that cater to the concerns of the customers and ensure revival of the sector’s demand.
  • Resources, and policy support by the Government to assist the private sector especially with regards to various regulatory compliances and certifications.
  • Long-term strategy for sustainable tourism in the current COVID-19 context. 

5.       Objective of the Consultancy:

USAID SMEA is looking to engage a team of consultants who possess technical expertise pertinent to Hospitality sector and have experience of strengthening the capacity of all tourism related stakeholders in terms of improving economic performance. The overall objectives of the assignment are

Objectives:

1)      Post COVID-19, analyze the current state of the tourism sector in Pakistan to identify major gaps, shortcomings and challenges

2)      Propose, contextualize and recommend international best practices to transform tourism and hospitality sectors operations according to the emerging needs of the customers due to COVID 19.

3)      To engage with tour operators and other tourism stakeholders in providing inputs on potential tourism services as well as providing a vision for revival of the sector for the upcoming season

4)      To advise private sector stakeholders through a dissemination session on the major aspects related to health and safety that need to be catered to in order to build tourist confidence

5)      To propose and develop the sort of marketing focus and marketing messages that need to be built into the sector, business and Government communication to encourage domestic and international tourism

6)      To identify the role and necessary measures by the government to facilitate and support hospitality sector revival post COVID 19.

7)      Critical generation of new knowledge that can render key insights to the hospitality industry stakeholders about how to transform their operations in accordance with the newly emerging needs of the customers due to COVID-19.

The local consultant shall perform duties within country and provide the local context while the International consultant shall share their experience and knowledge of best practices to help bring new ideas, models, approaches and paradigms that contribute to the revival of tourism in Pakistan. It is important that the revival plan includes a framework with theoretical background and practical implementation considerations, that can make a significant contribution to the Hospitality industry by proposing more efficient ways of solving the on-going challenges due to pandemic.

The development and implementation of this plan can potentially have the following impact for the Hospitality sector of SMEA and Pakistan:

  • Improved compliance to local health and safety needs.
  • Increased sales through improved customer confidence and adherence to COVID-19 requirements.
  • Increased sales through improve marketing and communication at the firm and the Government level.
  • Sustained revenue by building customer trust. 

6.       Principal Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Engage with tourism sector stakeholders
  • Analysis and an in-depth study of hospitality ecosystem in Pakistan.
  • Analyze emerging technologies and innovative practices and their associated risks and opportunities.
  • Conduct a comparative analysis of revival of tourism in other countries.
  • Propose a way forward for tourism industry stakeholders for sustainable tourism in Pakistan. 

7.       Specific Tasks of the Consultants: 

  • Prepare topics and questions for discussion regarding opportunities and challenges for sustainable tourism in Pakistan, with focus on the popular tourist areas and clusters.
  • Identify the stakeholders to be consulted and prepare a consultation plan.
  • The international consultant will be responsible for providing a global context highlighting a recovery plan in the light of international best practices while the local consultant shall mainly be in charge of rendering local expertise coordinating with an accessible network comprising of SMEA beneficiaries pertinent to Hospitality sector.
  • Review all the relevant literature on the tourism in Pakistan. Meet with the National Tourism Coordination Board (NTCB), Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC), Provincial Tourism Departments and tourism trade organizations such as Pakistan Association of Tour-operators (PATO), Travel Agent Association of Pakistan (TAAP), Sustainable Tourism Foundation of Pakistan (STFP) to understand the issues related with the tourism development in Pakistan, especially related with COVID-19 and get updates from them ongoing efforts and further explore about the future intervention to provide support to private sector stakeholders.
  • Review the work done so far by USAID SMEA and other donors/projects for the tourism sector.
  • Identify and share case studies on successful tourism recovery models of at least two to three other countries where governments have effectively bounced back to recover tourism sector in the post Covid-19 era.
  • Based on local context and in the light of United Nations agency of World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Guidelines/international best practices, ongoing tourism development work,  and above mentioned case studies on tourism recovery in Covid-19, the consultants will be required to propose the following:
  1. Propose mitigation plans for Pakistani businesses  including necessary operational and managerial requirements, steps to improve the overall hygiene and cleanliness conditions in hospitality services, food preparation and serving, improvements/enhancements to hotels and other tourist areas to improve safety and hygiene and any other firm level improvements required. 
  2. Based on the current state of the sector, propose what sort of marketing and communication techniques would be required to build consumer confidence and ensure that upcoming season is profitable. This would also include the type of communication that is needed at the firm, association, tourist location and Government levels to encourage domestic and international tourism.
  3. Advise on the role of Government in areas related to  visa facilitation, facilitation to visitors on arrival, safety and security of visitors during travel within the country, COVID-19, testing of inbound tourists and any other role that the provincial and national Government need to perform to encourage and support the tourism sector (keeping in mind the Pakistan tourism sector context).
  4. Organize a workshop(s) in Pakistan to share the findings of the study to relevant stakeholders. 

8.       Job Qualifications:

Consultant (Local)

Person Specifications

 

Level of Effort

 

  • Sixteen years education in areas of business administration, development, hospitality or a related field from a reputed local or international university
  • At least 10 years of experience working with the hospitality sector of Pakistan especially the tourism sub-sector
  • Deep knowledge and understanding of the tourism regions of Pakistan, trends, growth areas and associations
  • Experience of working directly with small businesses from the tourism sector
  • Experience working with the National and Provincial Government departments related to the tourism sector
  • Excellent communication and report writing skills

35 days

 

9.       Duty Station:

The local consultant should be available to work with the SMEA team preferably out of SMEA’s Islamabad or other field offices. However, besides the assigned duty station, the consultant would be required to conduct other meetings in various parts of Pakistan including metropolitan cities as well as remote tourism centric areas of Northern areas, KP and Balochistan. The costs of traveling and accommodation will be paid according to the standard Chemonics policy. The international consultant will be performing from their home station and will closely be in touch with SMEA team and local consultant.

10.   Reporting:

The consultants will report to the Component Lead for Competitiveness Enhancement (CE) or any other designated staff and will work closely with other members of the SMEA team. The consultant will also be required to work with the Business Enabling Environment (BEE) Component.

11.   Duration of the Assignment:

This assignment is planned to take place as per a start date of on or around December 14, 2020, and end date of on or around February 28, 2021, up to a total of 35 days LOE for the local consultant.

12.   Deliverables:

The following are the key deliverables and their associated deadlines. The timeline for the LOE assigned for each activity as mentioned in the following table will be discussed and agreed with the technical team and the consultants.

No.

Activity / Deliverable

LOE Local STTA

LOE Intl. STTA

1

Workplan and Stakeholder Consultation list

2

1

2

Pakistan’s Ecosystem Analysis of Hospitality industry and their challenges in light of COVID-19

5

1

3

Government and Private stakeholder consultation brief to record and summarize stakeholder feedback

6

 

4

Global (comparable economies) best practices scan and review

 

5

5

Interim Presentation to USAID and USAID SMEA

2

1

6

Draft Tourism Sector Revival Plan

5

4

7

Recommendations on capacity building areas of Hospitality sector to understand and implement the newly devised revival plan to Private Sector Stakeholders and Government

7

5

8

Event/workshop to share findings with all stakeholders

3

1

9

Final Framework of Economic Revival Plan for Pakistan

5

2

 

 

35 Days

20 Days





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