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Fortuño moves on DMO; García-Padilla balks at concept

PRHTA Chair Ismael Vega (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

Gov. Luis Fortuño told Puerto Rico hoteliers Wednesday he will be signing an executive order next week to formally establish a public-private workgroup to outline the structure and duties of what will be the island’s Destination Management Organization.

The group will be required to present a draft of a bill to be filed in January to give life to the DMO that the Puerto Rico Hotel and Tourism Association has been lobbying for during the better part of the last two years.

The DMO would be responsible for overseeing marketing efforts and continuity for the island under a single brand and as a unified front representing all of Puerto Rico’s tourism components.

The New Progressive Party chief confirmed his intentions during a presentation by the six candidates vying for the governor’s seat in November.

However, during his turn to speak, Popular Democratic Party candidate, Sen. Alejandro García-Padilla, went the opposite way, saying if he became governor, he would be unwilling to support what he believed would be “relinquishing his responsibility.”

“We deeply regret that [García-Padilla] appeared uninformed regarding the PRHTA’s proposal,” PRHTA Chair Ismael Vega said. “The ‘not surrendering his responsibility’ claim would perpetuate the current state in which the island’s marketing efforts would continue to be subjected to political changes.”

“We extend to him an open invitation to talk with us, as he hasn’t been available for us in recent months despite our petitions,” he said.

Meanwhile, representatives from the Puerto Rican Indepencence Party, the Puerto Rican Workers Party and the Union Sovereignty Movement agreed marketing efforts require continuity and consistency, Vega added.

The PRHTA has proposed creating a DMO to generate demand for Puerto Rico, as the destination has been greatly affected by the decline in air and cruise ship passengers, as well as dwindling hotel bookings.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 27 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 segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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  1. Gil C. Schmidt September 20, 2012

    This is a joke, right? Creating a PPA, the way We do it here, to “manage” tourism from now on is to build a brainless Frankenstein monster to program a computer. The PRHTA has long been a self-serving cabal for whom “Puerto Rico tourism” means “Only San Juan and the big resorts,” almost always in cahoots with American Airlines to force-feed visitors in that direction, ignoring the rest of the Island’s many hostelries. (Check out how many American Airlines executives have made the transition from AA to Tourism. Go ahead.)

    All a PPA does in Our greed-infested system is allow cronyism, sweetheart deals and rampant incompetence. The International Airport was thrown away in such a deal, under a 40-year contract, and now We’re going to turn over the pipeline to a key local industry to parasitic twits masquerading as marketers?

    We already have that. The change isn’t a PPA, it’s either “National Project” or “Private Entity Held Accountable,” what a PPA should TRULY be. This piece of offal is just that: awful.

    But what else can be expected from a loser heading to defeat, except more “share the loot” political thuggery?

    1. Jibareria September 20, 2012

      I guess you must be confused. A DMO is not a PPA. It is just the private industry making a brand out of PR, and a government facilitator that helps execute. It’s the same as in Orlando, FL. That way the branding of PR, does not change every 4 years, and we can be consistent in our message. Very much needed, especially in the Convention Business.


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