Discover Puerto Rico is executing plans based on research, which shows consumers are committed to travel and to receive information from destinations on where to travel next, organization officials said during a virtual industry update.
“The organization has kept Puerto Rico top-of-mind since the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown and is eager to tell consumers that it’s safe to visit our island, once the government lifts restrictions,” Discover Puerto Rico CEO Brad Dean said.
“As we emerge from the COVID pandemic, we must write yet another comeback story. And while many challenges lie ahead, I have no doubt that together, we’re going to show the world that nothing can keep Puerto Rico from reaching its potential,” he said.
“For the sake of the 80,000 people who work in the tourism industry in Puerto Rico, and the people throughout the island who are positively impacted by more than $640 million in taxes generated by the tourism industry, this comeback is crucial,” Dean said.
During the virtual industry update, Discover Puerto Rico shared research showing that what consumers are looking for is “well aligned with Puerto Rico’s product.”
“Hotel occupancy in the U.S. has increased each week for the past six weeks, with the most recent figures at 35% average occupancy for hotels. Airlines have begun to add capacity back,” he said.
“For Puerto Rico, airlines have posted encouraging schedule levels for the latter part of this year, signaling potential for economic recovery in the next few months. The leisure audience continues to have the longest booking window, with most flights being booked more than 90 days out,” Dean added.
“Because the booking window for trips to Puerto Rico has increased so dramatically, we know that Discover Puerto Rico needs to be reaching consumers now to see them arrive this fall,” he said.
To that end, he said Puerto Rico has maintained top-of-mind awareness with consumers through a variety of efforts, but the organization is ready to move to next phase of the plan.
“This phase is about excitement, confidence, and empowerment. Discover Puerto Rico is no longer just inspiring. We’re giving people permission to act on their desires, supported with proof points like ease of access, and ‘no passport’ as well as delivering on a new standard of safety in travel,” said Leah Chandler, CMO of Discover Puerto Rico
Discover Puerto Rico recently released a condensed, consumer friendly version of the Visitor Health and Safety Guidelines established by the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, to “provide visitors with a quick-glance, easy to understand snapshot of the main mandates surrounding the new COVID-19 health protocols.”
As far as the meetings sector goes, Discover Puerto Rico officials said the ongoing survey from Northstar Global Meeting Planners continues to show that roughly 85% of meeting planners are working and from those, 75% say they are in the planning mode now.
“Which means they are either researching, sourcing or even booking future years. The survey shows that over 90% of the meeting planners will be booking new business in the next 12 months,” said Ed Carey, CSO of Discover Puerto Rico.
“We’re seeing positive movement in the generation of new leads. During the week of May 10, we saw signs that new event room night requests were showing signs of recovery. At 15,000 + new lead room nights, it was the best week since the beginning of March,” he said.
To help generate those leads, Discover Puerto Rico has added a new 360-degree tour platform from the Puerto Rico Convention Center to its selling toolkit.