Discover Puerto Rico has reported that the island, which was devastated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria less than two years ago in September 2017, is tracking towards a record-breaking tourism year. Year-to-date revenue is at the highest level in the island’s history, says the destination marketing organization, with revenues of $445 million reported through May.
The island has also received 1.67 million visitors across the San Juan, Ponce, and Aguadilla airports in the first few months of this year, the highest number of airport arrivals in the January-April time frame ever.
“Despite the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) estimating a recovery between 2021-2022, and New Orleans taking eight years to get back to pre-Katrina levels, we set an aggressive goal to fast-track the visitor economy at a record pace, for the benefit of local communities,” said Brad Dean, CEO of Discover Puerto Rico.
Hurricane Maria, a rare category 5 storm, resulted in an official death toll of more than 3,000 and caused more than $100 billion in damage, say government sources.
Discover Puerto Rico, which was established last July, is on a mission to reposition Puerto Rico’s brand as a leading Caribbean destination.
“We’re thrilled to report that Puerto Rico’s tourism is the strongest it’s ever been. How-ever, this is just the first step. Our ultimate objective is to put the transformative power of travel to work in Puerto Rico, by doubling the visitor economy, and continuing to benefit the island’s residents and businesses. It’s critical to ensure we have the right resources to continue this momentum,” added Dean.
The destination is seeing numerous enhancements to its product, capitalizing on the island’s rich culture, cuisine, history, arts, music, and dance. It is also focusing on its natural wonders, including the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. Forest Service, El Yunque National Forest, and three of the world’s five bioluminescent bays.
Puerto Rico has also become a hotspot in the Caribbean for the LGBTQ+ community with a culture of inclusivity, and a variety of attractions and night-life. Looking ahead, Discover Puerto Rico says that medical tourism will be a growth sector in the future.
Among Puerto Rico’s future endeavors are the 500-year anniversary of San Juan in the fall; the opening of District San Juan, a five-acre hospitality and entertainment district; and being named the host destination for the upcoming World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) 2020 Global Summit.
For more information, please visit: DiscoverPuertoRico on.com.