The Puerto Rico Tourism Co. received the first prize in the “Overcoming Adversity” category during the World Routes 2019 convention, a worldwide aviation event held in the city of Adelaine, Australia.
“Having faced three unprecedented crises between 2016 and 2017, the organization implemented crises recovery management plan that included restoring core flights and re-establishing international connections,” convention officials said.
The adverse circumstances may include natural disasters, instability or political crisis, economic difficulties, fuel prices, airspace restrictions or equipment shortages.
“Since then it has worked to further increase air capacity, which has been one of the key facilitators of economic growth on the island since the crises,” it added after the award was bestowed during the event that ran Sept. 21-24.
The Tourism Co. is responsible for commercial efforts to sustain and increase air connectivity to Puerto Rico, a task performed by the agency with Aerostar, operator of the San Juan airport and its Mexican parent company, Asur.
“The Government of Puerto Rico, represented by the Tourism Co., is honored to receive this important recognition on behalf of all industry partners who have played a leading role so that today we can report a full recovery of the air access to Puerto Rico,” said Tourism Co. Executive Director Carla Campos.
“The speed with which our destination emerged has been historical. Having given priority to business relationships with our airline partners has been key as a driver for change,” Campos said.
“For the last 24 months the available seating capacity for the island has not only recovered, but it is reporting the highest numbers in a decade,” she said.
During the first seven months of 2019, 6,283,202 passengers have traveled through the island’s three main airports — Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, Rafael Hernández in Aguadill and Mercedita in Ponce — representing an increase of 1.4% compared to 2017 and 13.6% compared to 2018, she said.
World Routes is an annual event that brings together partners and senior executives of airlines, tourism ministries, tour operators and services related to the aviation industry to discuss, develop and plan strategies on a global scale.
This year’s activity was attended by some 3,000 delegates and more than 600 organizations, in addition to tens of thousands of people from the general public who visit the event.