Iberia to promote Puerto Rico, add flights to route
Spanish airline Iberia will be embarking in efforts to further promote Puerto Rico as a destination as well as potentially flying its Madrid-San Juan route daily during the high tourism season this year, for an economic impact estimated at more than $20.1 million.
Gov. Pedro Pierluisi signed the memorandum of understanding along with the Executive President of Iberia, Javier Sánchez-Prieto, and the Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Co., Carlos Mercado-Santiago, while at the 2023 International Tourism Trade Fair, or Fitur, underway in Madrid.
The MOU includes the renewal of marketing and sales agreements to promote greater European passenger demand for Puerto Rico as a destination and adding to the airline’s four to five weekly flights during peak times in August and September.
“Over the past year, we were able to realize several achievements as part of our strategies for the recovery of the destination and the expansion of the international flight network to Puerto Rico,” Mercado said in a statement issued by the governor’s office.
“Iberia is our most important trading partner in the European market. The negotiations we carried out at Fitur 2022 resulted in a greater frequency of weekly flights, the highest number of seats available in 20 years, and an increase of about 14 percentage points in load factors during the second half of 2022,” he added.
Among the promotional campaigns employed were outdoor advertising in Madrid; the promotion of Puerto Rico in certain European markets through an Iberia aircraft in colorful livery depicting icons of Puerto Rican culture; and the “LiveBoricua” campaign conducted by Discover Puerto Rico, the island’s destination marketing organization.
The current agreement between the Tourism Co. and Iberia runs through June 30 and includes initiatives through the airline’s communication channels such as the in-flight entertainment system, the Ronda Iberia magazine, social media and on its website.
With the signing of the MOU, additional strategies will be incorporated such as the use of advertising on large-format digital screens and bus stops in Madrid, the use of external media to promote the island in markets outside of Madrid, and the inclusion of Puerto Rico in multi-destination campaigns “to promote dynamic price offers and packages,” according to the news release. “In addition, a familiarization trip with one of the ‘top influencers’ of the Spanish market, a social media plan and a programmatic digital campaign to complete the dissemination of the Puerto Rico destination.”
The release quoted Iberia’s Sánchez-Prieto as saying that the new agreement “is fundamental and will help us to stimulate tourist traffic to a destination that is arousing increasing interest among travelers from Spain and Europe, and which will be strengthened thanks to the increased capacity that we will be deploying this year.”