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Discover Puerto Rico: Pace of tourism recovery in recent months is ‘astounding’

The pace at which Puerto Rico’s tourism sector has been recovering since the start of the pandemic has been “astounding,” exceeding the Caribbean and US averages, said Discover Puerto Rico CEO Brad Dean during the organization’s monthly industry update.

Citing its internal data, the DMO confirmed that June and July’s lodging demand pushed the year-to-date need for accommodations “beyond all records, with the most hotel demand since before Hurricane Maria and the highest rental demand ever,” he said.

But in addition to record-setting demand, July’s average daily hotel rate of $276 was 46% higher than in 2019, the last comparable year pre-pandemic. 

“Data from research firms STR and AirDNA show nearly $750 million in lodging revenue in the first six months of the year, 24% higher than 2019, the year Puerto Rico welcomed the most visitors to the island,” said Dean.

“Puerto Rico’s return is far outpacing other US states and territories. Tourism Economics finds that in June, Puerto Rico’s travel spending was 28% higher than in 2019,” he said.

“I’m thrilled to see Puerto Rico delivering record-setting performance month after month, and I’m certain this sends a powerful message to the rest of our Industry about the promise and potential of our island and its tourism industry,” said Dean.

The island’s performance is closely tied to the investment of federal resources in the recovery of the tourism industry, the DMO said.

“Through Discover Puerto Rico’s placement of marketing campaigns, significant lodging revenue has been generated from CARES Act and CDBG-DR dollars,” said Dean, noting that year-to-date, more than $558.8 million in lodging has been booked after consumers were exposed to the CARES Act and CDBG-DR-funded marketing.   

San Juan, Puerto Rico, August 18, 2021- Discover Puerto Rico, the Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) of the island, held its monthly Industry Update, sharing their latest efforts to attract visitors. During the webinar, Sara Garibaldi, Partner of Ketchum, shared how businesses can benefit from various public relations efforts, including unique earned media driven activations that are accompanied by outreach to secure top tier coverage, to influencer partnerships that reach the right audiences for your message. The DMO has used a public relations approach to communicate strategies that has driven their messaging effectively and efficiently to target markets.  

Dean also mentioned the results of advertising and marketing efforts, as well as earned media, which comes from hosting a travel writer covering specific facets of the island that differentiate us from our competition to hosting a group of influencers to experience unique attractions, experiences and communities that shine a positive light on all that the island offers.

“The results have been extraordinary. In fact, for every dollar we’re investing in paid advertising and promotion, we’re generating more than 10x that in earned media value,” Dean said.

“There’s no doubt this is one of the reasons why our awareness, favorability and economic results are all growing at a record pace,” he said.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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