Description of the programme
The 'Master in Economics of Tourism: Monitoring and Evaluation' (METME) is an advanced education program aimed at training specialists in economic analysis applied to the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of projects and policies. The master provides analytical and quantitative tools on M&E, integrating theoretical knowledge and its application to real economic problems, to address today’s economic challenges faced by economies highly specialized on tourism.
What is monitoring and evaluation (M&E)?
Monitoring is the systematic collection of data on specified indicators to identify the changes taking place in a system (destination, sector, activity, firm, etc.) during a certain period of time that, usually, matches that of the implementation of a project, program or policy. Monitoring provides managers and stakeholders with indications of the extent of progress and achievement of objectives in the use of allocated funds.
Evaluation is the systematic and objective assessment of the effectiveness, efficiency and equity of a project, program or policy in a given system (destination, sector, activity, firm, etc.). Evaluation attempts to measure the economic impact of the project to determine the relevance and fulfilment of its objectives. An evaluation should provide credible and useful information, enabling the incorporation of lessons learned into the decision-making process.
Why a master in M&E applied to tourism economies?
In a world that is increasingly uncertain and competitive, tourist destinations must adapt and react faster to the changing conditions of supply and demand, leveraging their strengths and the opportunities derived from the global environment. Nowadays, the fast transformation of the international environment where the tourist product is exchanged, requires destinations and stakeholders to undertake monitoring tasks to guarantee their competitiveness, not only from the traditional view of market share preservation, but also from a more dynamic approach oriented towards improving the level of well-being of society. At the same time, competitiveness is associated to the capacity of a destination to satisfy the expectations of tourists, as well as to guarantee the satisfaction of the needs of the society independently of the time frame considered. As such, both competitiveness and sustainability have been jointly considered as the master’s keystones.
In this context, it is essential to train specialists with skills and competences in the M&E of projects, programmes and policies within the framework of tourism. These professionals will be ready to identify the challenges and structural weaknesses of the destination and provide all the necessary information to improve decision-making processes and, in this way, optimize the performance of private and social projects and policies. Only in this way it will be possible to ensure the international positioning of the destination and, consequently, the prosperity of those societies.
Why study this master at the University of the Balearic Islands?
The Balearic Islands are the most important tourist destination in the Mediterranean Sea and, therefore, they are a convenient laboratory for the study of tourism as they provide interesting interactions between the professionals of the tourist sector and high-education and research institutions with a high potential to export the accumulated know-how.
In this sense, professors and researchers at the UIB's Applied Economics Department have acquired a vast knowledge about the evolution and life cycle of tourist destinations that uncovered the lack of planning and the short-run orientation that tourism development tends to have. Although this development model has led to substantial improvements in the past, the new context of international competitiveness requires professionals trained to design and plan projects, programmes and policies that should be evaluated in terms of competitiveness and sustainability to guarantee the success of the destination.