DMO: New Year’s Rockin’ Eve in Puerto Rico sparks 41% surge in year-end hotel bookings
Hotel room reservations for the week that covers the end of 2021 are 41% higher than those registered for that same time in 2019, according to data from TravelClick, cited by Discover Puerto Rico.
This increase coincides with when Puerto Rico will host Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, an event that will expose the Island to over 18 million viewers in the US and abroad, the island’s destination marketing organization confirmed.
This increase marks a particular tendency because, with the COVID-19 pandemic, travelers plan their visits with less anticipation. Contrary to previous years, many are still coordinating their trips for the remainder of the year and the first months of 2022.
Specifically, Adara, a company that tracks tourist behavior, estimates that, on average, visitors exposed to Discover Puerto Rico’s marketing efforts are planning their trips 36 days in advance instead of the 51 they previously exhibited, Alisha Valentine, Director of Research and Analysis at Discover Puerto Rico said during an industry update.
“But, in the most recent data, as of the end of October, we saw a significant jump in bookings. Both for the fourth quarter as well as into 2022. So, what happened? Well, a few things. First is that the transmission of the Delta variant subsided. Also, vaccine boosters started to become available,” she said.
“With that, there was a significant improvement in consumer sentiment around travel. And finally, [the government] announced the partnership to bring Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve to Puerto Rico,” Valentine said.
“With that, bookings for the week of New Year’s are 41% higher than at the same period two years ago,” she said, during a videoconference in which she and other DMO executives updated the information and efforts associated with the development of the tourism industry.
The announcement that Puerto Rico would be one of the venues for Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, an event broadcast on the ABC television network, has generated positive publicity for the destination valued at more than $10 million, the organization stated.
“I’m optimistic because our value proposition exceeds that of our competitors. I’m optimistic because the airlines I speak to are bullish on our future. I’m optimistic because soon, we expect to receive approval from the Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority to begin investing the federal funds the governor has identified for off-island promotion, said Discover Puerto Rico CEO Brad Dean.
‘Unprecedented’ visitor accommodation revenue
Meanwhile, Valentine said preliminary data for October show that the island exceeded an “unprecedented” $1 billion in visitor accommodation revenue, which shows the rapid recovery experienced locally after the ravages caused by the pandemic.
“And while we don’t yet have final figures for October, the early estimates put hotel revenue at over $50 million for the month. So even before the rental revenue is accounted for, that pushes us past the $1 billion mark for the first time – with two strong months ahead of us,” Valentine said.
Puerto Rico was already having a record year in lodging income, exceeding during the first 10 months of 2021 lodging revenues of all the previous full years for which comparable statistics are available.
Since March, Puerto Rico has been projected as one of the leading destinations in the United States in terms of the tourism industry’s recovery. The traveler spending between January and September 2021 has been 2.8% higher than 2019. In contrast, the United States registered traveler expenses in this same period are 21% lower than in 2019.
September was particularly beneficial for Puerto Rico, when traveler expenses were 19% higher than those registered in 2019, Discover Puerto Rico stated.