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Discover P.R. exec: ‘We want to see growth in visitor’s economy, but it takes time’

Since its inception less than a year ago, Discover Puerto Rico — the island’s Destination Marketing Organization — has been taking “key steps” to reposition Puerto Rico’s brand, Jennifer Rosa, the nonprofit’s communications vice president, said.

During an interview with the “En Una Hora” program on 11Q 1140 AM, in which News is my Business participates, Rosa said the DMO began by conducting research to learn who Puerto Rico’s visitors were, why they were not visiting the island, and what they were looking for, among other data.

“We then moved on to creating strategic alliances, creating a website and in the last phase of repositioning the brand, we launched the ‘Have we met yet?’ campaign,” she said.

“It’s important that people know that all of the work we do has to be seen outside Puerto Rico,” she said, in response to questioning a day earlier by a tourism executive and an economist during the radio program of the work Discover Puerto Rico is doing to further the island’s visitor’s economy.

In a nutshell, they said the problem is the lack of a clear strategy and vision for Puerto Rico’s tourism sector.

“The relationship we have with the Puerto Rico Tourism Company is symbiotic, in which they develop the destination and we promote and market it,” Rosa said, adding that efforts are bearing fruit.

She cited an increased demand for lodging, particularly independent providers — which reported a 72% growth during the first quarter of 2019 vs. the same quarter in 2017. She also referred to a 24% spike in air traffic in 2018 in comparison to 2017, when Puerto Rico faced the onslaught of two back-to-back hurricanes.

“If we use New Orleans as an example, it took them eight years to be able to reposition themselves again after Hurricane Katrina. Very few destinations go through a situation of such magnitude as we did,” Rosa said, adding that when the DMO mark its first anniversary on July 1, it will see what the results are.

“The truth is we want to see the visitor’s economy grow, but those things take time,” she said.

Author Details
Business reporter with 25 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other areas of the economy.

Comments (1)

  1. It is truly surprising the remarks from PR’s DMO. We have known tourism has an untapped potential for at least the past 60 years. During all this time, I am certain the PR Tourism Company, the PR Hotel Association, among others, must have made countless studies to fire up growth in tourism. The problems are well-known. Why doesn’t the DMO dig into this research instead of spending time and money on something that has already been researched. I would be surprised if there is no “Master Plan”, Strategic Plan, Vision for tourism. My recommendation to the DMO, use that research and map out an action plan and SOON!!! PR needs to be over a “learning curve” regarding tourism.

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