The Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC) announced today its rapid-pace recovery efforts and positive outlook for 2018. What better occasion than at the 15th edition of the Caribbean Travel Marketplace, the most important regional tourism event of the Caribbean, and particularly meaningful this year, with Puerto Rico as host destination. This reaffirms Puerto Rico’s readiness to host visitors from all over the world.
“We have made great strides because we’ve implemented a comprehensive strategy which has in turn secured a promising comeback for the Island,” expressed Carla Campos, Acting Executive Director of the PRTC. “Puerto Rico has reached great milestones that couldn’t have been achieved without Governor Ricardo Rosselló’s leadership and the immense support we’ve received from travel industry private sector partners since day one. With over 1.9 billion dollars of hospitality development in the pipeline and an existing lodging inventory undergoing exciting renovations, Puerto Rico’s revamping is underway.”
Major milestones important for leisure and business travelers include:
• Cruises: Not only did Puerto Rico resume operations just two and a half weeks after Hurricane Maria, but by end of June, 2018, Puerto Rico will have received 1.04 million passengers. This Winter season, 14 vessels – four more than the previous season – are homeporting in San Juan, including Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas, the Windstar Pride, Silverseas Silver Wind and Viking Sea. The 2018/2019 cruising season is set to witness a record-breaking 1.7 million passengers, which is expected to generate roughly $250 million in revenue for the economy.
• Air Access: The airline industry is rapidly restoring and growing. Two weeks after Hurricane Maria, the Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport had 20 daily flights, but today, there are on average 110 daily flights. Capacity is on the rise with a current monthly seat volume of 391,000. By July 2018, seat capacity will increase by 81,000 more.
Very promising is that by early summer 2018, air access will be on par with levels this time last year, and Puerto Rico is growing at a faster pace than comparable destinations that have gone through similar situations. Growth is driven by newly established routes and existing frequency, in addition to larger aircrafts that will result in higher seat capacity.
• Hotels: Currently, there are over 122 hotels operating, which equates to 12,458 available rooms. An exciting 2,670 more rooms will be added to that inventory after undergoing renovations. For example, the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Golf & Beach Resort, the Ritz-Carlton Reserve and El San Juan Hotel. Looking ahead, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company estimates 25% more rooms in the pipeline for development, which equates to 3,800 new rooms. Some of the hotels in the pipeline are the JW Marriott, Aloft San Juan Convention Center, Aloft Ponce, Serafina Hotel, Four Seasons Cayo Largo, among others. Approximately $1.9 billion will be injected into new developments and renovations, which contributes to adding roughly 3,831 new jobs.
• Destination Attractions: A month after Hurricane Maria, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company announced that 22 attractions were open, however, today there are more than 120. Additionally, 13 golf courses and 15 casinos are also open for recreation. Travelers need not worry about being hungry while on the Island because Puerto Rico has 4,000 operating restaurants. We are seeing continued commitment from partners who are choosing to keep their big-ticket events in Puerto Rico, like the DIVAS Half Marathon and 5K, PGA, Ironman, and MLB Series, all events happening in Q1 and Q2 of this year alone.
The PRTC is proud to announce significant milestones achieved by implementing fact and case study based planning based on destination management principles and strong partnerships with the public and private sectors whom have demonstrated increased commitment and confidence in Puerto Rico’s comeback. Instilling a forward-thinking approach that allows the destination to be more innovative in reaching its goals and identifying where our investments will give us the biggest return are instrumental pillars of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company Destination Recovery Strategy.
If planning a vacation is on the horizon, Puerto Rico wants to set the record straight. For more information including details on open attractions, accommodations, Puerto Rico’s most popular restaurants and more, visit SeePuertoRico.com. And, for information on other Island updates (related to hospitals, ATMs, supermarkets, etc.), visit http://status.pr/. With the Island officially Open for Business, there is no better time to visit Puerto Rico.