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Puerto Rico reaps rewards of tourism initiative

Puerto Rico reaps rewards of tourism initiative

Newly-released figures from the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC) have revealed a steady increase in the number of visitors to the Caribbean destination, effectively demonstrating the success a new marketing campaign. 

First quarter 2011 hotel occupancy rates show a four percent increase over 2010, and Puerto Rico tourism officials anticipate a three-to-four percent rise in total tourism visits this year.

If confirmed, this would represent the first increase in five years.

Mario González Lafuente, executive director of the PRTC, attributes the lift in large part to the new Just Think, Puerto Rico marketing campaign and efforts by tourism industry partners including hotels, airlines and travel agents to showcase the Island’s varied and unique offerings.

The advertising campaign consists of print and television and launched in November 2010 at an event in New York City attended by González Lafuente and Puerto Rico’s lieutenant governor, Kenneth McClintock. 

“This year we launched the campaign earlier than we had in ten years, using multiple channels to reach specific niche markets,” explained González Lafuente.

“As a result, we saw a strong and early push in sales and reservations.

“We are well on our way to accomplishing our growth expectations for the year, with a diversified offer and a variety of attractions.”

Recovery from the Recession

Following the global recession of 2009, Puerto Rico began an aggressive effort to form stronger relationships with travel partners to increase tourism to the island.

These endeavours are now yielding solid results.

Air access to Puerto Rico has increased dramatically, with nine airlines currently providing 63 non-stop daily flights from 20 US cities. 

British Airways recently began a new twice-weekly flight to the Island from London, and a new Puerto Rican charter, IDEO, began serving Spain in April.

Puerto Rico has also seen growth in cruise tourism to the Island since 2009.  Last year, homeport visitors from cruise ships increased 34 per cent.

Take a look at what Breaking Travel News discovered on a recent visit to the island here.