Puerto Rico: a burgeoning tourist destination
The executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, Terestella González Denton, inaugurated the Rainforest and Ocean View Inn, the first lodging development in the Hacienda Carabalí de Luquillo theme park, located in Peurto Rico’s East Central touristic region.
The hotel complex will generate 10 new direct jobs in its operation phase, and it will contribute to the East Central region with an elegant restaurant, activities salon, and a refreshing pool with a panoramic view. It will also offer other Hacienda Carabali’s entertainment activities such as horseback riding, bicycle rides, ATV adventures, go-karts, and meals at a cowboy style restaurant.
“This is a wonderful place and it represents what Puerto Rico has to offer, a perfect combination of nature, with the magnificent Yunque forest on one side and a spectacular view of the Atlantic side on the other. This Puerto Rican family has had the vision to lift up this hospice magnifying the beauty of its surroundings, which guarantees its success and makes a great contribution to tourism in the East Central region,” expressed González Denton.
The East Central region is home to one of the most recognized beaches of the world, the Flamenco beach in Culebra Island; the region also has two bioluminescent bays, two Blue Flag beaches, and one of Puerto Rico’s most visited touristic attractions, El Yunque Rain Forest.
The area also has the most “Corredores Gastronomicos,” or gastronomic trails, for traditional food, such as: Las Croabas, Los Kioskos de Luquillo, Kioskos de Piñones, Naguabo and Guavate. It is also considered Puerto Rico’s best resort destination, because it has some of the most spectacular hotels in the Island, such as Wyndham Río Mar Beach Resort & Spa, Palmas del Mar and the El Conquistador Resort.
The region is also the site of a recent 600 million investment by Donald Trump at Coco Beach, which will be home to the Trump Golf Villas.
Meanwhile, the Parador Palmas de Lucía was the winner of the prestigious “Small Green Hotel of the Year" award presented by the Puerto Rico Hotel & Tourism Association. This award recognizes the effort, dedication and serious commitment of Parador Palmas de Lucía to the environment. It is the first time this prize is awarded to a small hospice that belongs to the Puerto Rico’s Paradores Program of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company.
The owners, Mr. Juan López and María del Carmen Rodríguez, ensured that their success in winning this award comes from the genuine commitment of each of the hospice’s employees, and especially to the efforts of the “Green Team” that was started to guarantee the implementation of good permanent practices for the conservation of the environment in the hotel.
In addition, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company has confirmed that for the sixth consecutive year in a row, Rafael Hernandez Airport in Aguadilla has recorded phenomenal growth in traffic figures and received a record 417,006 passengers in FY 2008. The Port Authority of Puerto Rico indicated that this represents a 23.3 percent growth over 2007, during which a total of 381,950 passengers traveled through the airport.
According to Fernando Bonilla, executive director of the Puerto Rico Port Authority, "under our administration, and thanks to the approval of a new master plan by the government, this airport has enjoyed sustained growth in passenger traffic, which has been further aided by the modernization of its international and domestic terminals and the efforts of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company to promote the Porta del Sol region."
The Puerto Rico Tourism Company has spearheaded a campaign to increase air access to the Island and its various airports. As a result of this, traffic to the Porta del Sol region, on the Island's west coast, has increased by 8.4 percent since 2004, representing 289,780 visitors. Further, visits by non-residents to the region increased by 23 percent over the past four years from 63,716 visitors in 2004 to 78,489 visitors in 2008.
"We have spent over $1.5 million in the development of marketing strategies to promote Porta del Sol, without counting the numerous events we sponsor in the region,” Gonzalez-Denton added. “Our commitment to Porta del Sol is such that it is the only tourist region in the Island that has its own publicity campaign in the U.S. and the rest of the Americas.”