To mark this year’s “Tourism Month” celebration in September, the Puerto Rico Hotel and Tourism Association on Tuesday unveiled an agenda of events including a gathering of the island’s gubernatorial candidates for a discussion about their plans for this economic sector.
PRHTA President Clarisa Jiménez said given that tourism is the only economic activity that has shown signs of recovery during the fiscal crisis Puerto Rico currently suffers, the forum — slated for Sept. 8 — “is the perfect opportunity for attendees to hear what the candidates have to say and share with the candidates what they need to hear.”
The tourism industry in Puerto Rico represents and contributes more than 7 percent to the GNP from spending by visitors. This tourism activity generates more than 70,000 jobs.
“Therefore, it is indispensable that we continue our efforts to promote and defend this industry that contributes so much to the quality of life on our island and is a key element to activate the economy in the historic moment we live,” said Jiménez.
On Tuesday, she mentioned the need to once again pursue the creation of a Destination Management Organization for Puerto Rico, something the PRHTA had nearly achieved after several years of lobbying, but was shelved early on by Gov. Alejandro García-Padilla’s administration.
Aside from the candidate forum, the PRHTA has coordinated a number of other activities for the benefit of its members and the general public, including competitions for hotel employees and chefs, as well as a casinos competition to measure abilities in blackjack, roulette, dice, and cashiers. Those are slated for Sept. 7 at the Condado Plaza Hotel.
The hotel will also be the venue for the PRHTA’s Board Chairman’s report on Sept. 8, to be offered by Miguel Vega, who will offer a summary of his actions and will open the governor candidates forum.
On Sept. 9, the trade group will host its monthly luncheon when Puerto Rico Tourism Co. Executive Director Ingrid Rivera will offer a conference about the growth, expansion, and development of the tourism industry. That will also take place at the Condado Plaza.
The World Tourism Organization sponsors “Tourism Month” to sensitize the international community on the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value.