Puerto Rico Reports Highest Tourism Revenue and Visitor Numbers

Fortaleza, OSJ [Credit: Discover Puerto Rico]
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Year-to-date revenue is the highest in the island’s history, with $445 million reported through May. The island has received 1.67 million visitors across the San Juan, Ponce, and Aguadilla airports in the first few months of this year.

“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, chief executive officer (CEO) of Discover Puerto Rico.

Since its inception last July, Discover Puerto Rico quickly embarked on a mission to reposition Puerto Rico’s brand, fully capitalizing on the Island’s rich tourism product to thrive as a leading Caribbean destination.

Consumers’ likelihood to visit Puerto Rico increased 6 points over the past year, an impressive jump despite significantly reduced marketing budgets. Among meeting planners, post-Maria perception of Puerto Rico as a fully recovered or ready for business destination has increased five times over the past year. Desirability for booking meetings and conventions has grown almost three times this year.

Leads-generated and contracted events are the highest they have been in five years. Requested and contracted rooms are also at an all-time high. And, conversions on bookings are up 121 percent).

Discover Puerto Rico estimates over $92 million in economic impact, with groups already signed and another $288 million in potential impact from opportunities in the pipeline. This effort secured Connect 2021, which will bring a gathering of 1,700 meeting planners across a wide range of sectors.

“We’re thrilled to report that Puerto Rico’s tourism is the strongest it’s ever been. However, 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,” said Dean.

The destination is seeing numerous enhancements to its product, drawing travellers to its growing list of experiences. The Island’s rich culture, cuisine, history, arts, music, and dance are unparalleled. It’s an Island filled with 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.

The island has also become a hotspot in the Caribbean as a culture of inclusivity, along with a variety of attractions and nightlife. And, with growing hospital developments on the island, and the benefit of recovery in a tropical climate, the medical tourism sector will also be one of growth in the future.

Among Puerto Rico’s numerous and exciting future endeavors are the 500th anniversary of San Juan (with cultural events beginning in Fall 2019), the opening of District San Juan (a five-acre hospitality and entertainment district, destined to be the most vibrant in the Caribbean), and being named the host destination for the upcoming World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) 2020 Global Summit.