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Puerto Rico says ‘thank you’ two years after Hurricane Maria

Puerto Rico says ‘thank you’ two years after Hurricane Maria

Today marks two years since Hurricane Maria, and Puerto Rico’s tourism community wants to say THANK YOU to all the travelers who have helped Puerto Rico have a record-breaking year so far. With year-to-date tourism revenue and passenger arrivals at an all-time high, the tourism industry, currently one of Puerto Rico’s shining lights, and a success story worth sharing, has made a historical comeback and has never been stronger.

Discover Puerto Rico developed a video called “Thank you from Puerto Rico,” a compilation of stories and thank you’s from Puerto Ricans who depend on tourism. It shines a light on the importance of tourism and its impact on the local economy, and shows just how impactful a visit to the Island can be. Puerto Rico’s story is one of resiliency, especially among the local community, and those that tourism impacts each and every day. A slightly longer version of this video just went live here, as well.

Tourism Growth

• Welcoming over 4M visitors each year, Puerto Rico is on track to achieve a record-breaking year in 2019.
• According to CTO, tourism on the Island experienced an increase of 62.3% in the first 6 months of 2019.
• Puerto Rico is recovering 4X faster than New Orleans after Katrina.

Lodging

• YTD tourism revenue has been at an all-time high.
o Jan. – Apr. 2019 occupancy spending for hotels/independent rentals combined reached $373.6M, the highest in 8 years, and an increase of 12.4% compared to 2017 pre-Maria levels. The rest of ‘19 is booking 24.1% higher than ‘18 for hotels.
o Jan. – June lodging demand showed significant growth, with traditional lodging/independent rentals combined, Puerto Rico is less than 2% off record highs in 2017.
• YTD inventory is more than the Island has ever had.
o Overall, the number of room nights in hotels and independent rentals in Q1 increased 17% over 2018, generating the highest Q1 demand in room nights ever recorded in Puerto Rico.
o Puerto Rico dominated the list of the top 10 Airbnb world destinations this summer.

Air Access

• San Juan International Airport (SJU) set a June record for most arrivals in the month’s history, surpassing the previous record from June 2017.
• In the first 8 months of 2019, San Juan International Airport (SJU) has handled an 11.4% jump in passenger traffic, representing a total of more than 6.5M passengers.
o Aug. arrivals to San Juan International Airport (SJU) saw 7.6% growth compared to Aug. 2018, with a total of 815.043 passengers.
• The Aguadilla airport established individual and collective passenger records for January – April, reaching 251,898 passengers, an increase of 98,271 compared to the same period in 2018. This, being a strong sign of growth as carriers expand capacity.

Cruise Industry

• The projection for 2019 cruise ship passengers is expected to break records at 1.8M passengers.
• Jan. 2019 numbers reflected an increase of 28.9% of visitors from previous years.
• There was a 56.6% increase in homeport cruise passengers compared to Jan. 2018.

MICE

• The Puerto Rico Convention Center, the most technically-advanced convention center in the Caribbean, experienced its most successful year in its 14-year history during the 2018-2019 fiscal year. It saw:
o An increase of 26% in total attendance (644,000 visitors) over the previous 13-year average.
o 96% overall customer satisfaction ratings along with a 21% increase in total events.
o 417 events in comparison to previous 13-year average.
• In addition to this, using 3-year historical volume, group sales on the Island are booking 212% higher for 2020.

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