Independent rental property owners, operators launch Viva Puerto Rico alliance
Puerto Rico’s short-term rental property owners and operators have come together under the Viva Puerto Rico alliance to unite and represent the segment, organizers said.
VPR seeks to “give a voice to its diverse membership by providing formal representation, education, and resources for these types of accommodations — seeking to provide quality hospitality to guests, as well as owner satisfaction.”
VPR’s mission will also be to identify and implement best practices to rent responsibly and to enhance the traveler experience — “to inspire travelers to discover and fall in love with Puerto Rico, and everything it has to offer.”
Founders René Acosta, owner/administrator of Martineau Belle Playa, and Alma Bair, CEO of Paradise Villas & Vacations, LLC, formed the alliance to fill a need for adequate representation of this growing economic sector, they said.
“As shared by Discover Puerto Rico, the island’s Destination Marketing Organization, the independent rental market has been growing steadily with an increase of 235% over the last five years and now make up 40% of lodging demand in Puerto Rico,” Acosta said.
“In addition, the changes in traveler behavior, motivated by the pandemic, and the search for privacy and security, took independent rentals to another level,” he said.
VPR provides a united voice in discussions about the industry, its laws, regulations, and any issues affecting independent rentals, they said.
In addition to professional owners and managers of short-term accommodations — including studios, apartments, houses, villas, and other unique rentals — VPR will accept other tourism-related business owners who support this growing market.
“It’s imperative that the short-term renters in our alliance are registered with the Puerto Rico Tourism Company and have been assigned a formal ID number. The taxes collected are critical to the growth of the tourism economy,” said Bair.
VPR was formed through a collaborative process with the Vacation Rental Management Association (VRMA), an international organization founded in 1985, that advances the vacation rental industry through education, information, networking, research, and advocacy.
Through VRMA, VPR will host a reception for visiting Puerto Rico mayors at the US Conference of Mayors in Austin, Texas on Aug. 31. The reception will provide visiting mayors the opportunity to understand the positive economic impact of this tourism segment and learn new travel trends.
“We’re here to support the tourism economy, travel leaders, and government policy makers, by hosting discussions on best practices, sharing resources, and continuing to grow this evolving industry,” said Bair.