As Puerto Rico’s “paradores,” or small inns, get ready to mark the 45th anniversary this month since the founding of the brand backed by the Puerto Rico Tourism Co., four popular properties announced a combined $1.2 million investment to improve their offers.
In the past 12 months, “paradores” Boquemar, Combate Beach Resort, El Buen Café and Villas Sotomayor have invested more than $1.2 million in modernizing the facilities, property owners said.
October is known as “Paradores Month,” which celebrates the Paradores de Puerto Rico brand that was created by the Tourism Company in 1973, to highlight the local history, culture and cuisine, and encourage local and foreign tourists to see the beauty of the island.
“We’re very proud to continue serving our guests, and the contribution we have made for more than four decades to create jobs and generate economic activity in our communities,” said Jesús Ramos, president of the Small Inn Owners Association, and owner of Parador Villas Sotomayor, in Adjuntas.
“We are Puerto Rican families serving other families; and today, several of our ‘paradores’ are managed by the second and third generation of the family,” he said.
“Innovating continuously is imperative to attract new tourists to our island. During the past five years, the paradores in the association, have been in an accelerated renewal process. We’re ready to welcome local and foreign tourists,” added Ramos.
“At this time, the traveler seeks to live a unique and authentic experience, and to enjoy the nature, cuisine, music, history and culture of the place they visit, at an affordable cost; and the ‘paradores’ have been offering these experiences for 45 years,” said Xavier A. Ramirez, leader of the association’s marketing committee.
For Tomás Ramírez, vice president of the association, staying competitive is a constant evolution and a necessary process.
“We know of the disruptive changes occurring in tourism worldwide, and the diverse generational expectations of travelers who visit us from all over the world,” said Ramírez.
“While we maintain the family service and the Puerto Rican flavor that distinguishes us, we continue to add innovative marketing and operation technologies, educating our employees, and modernizing our ‘paradores’ and services, to adjust to a more diverse and demanding traveler,” he added.
“Puerto Rico has more than 11,000 attractions and high-quality restaurants, and a large majority are operating at capacity. The ‘paradores’ are located in centers of high ecotourism interest; and we represent the hospitality of our people, the taste of our gastronomy and celebrate our history and traditions,” said Xavier A. Ramírez, also co-owner and General Manager of Combate Beach Resort in Cabo Rojo.
“On the occasion of this celebration, the ‘paradores’ of Puerto Rico will be raffling 45 free stays of three days and nights nights, 45 dinners in our Mesones Gastronomicos, and 45 certificates for kayaking, horseback riding and other experiences that we offer in our paradores,” Ramos announced.
“In addition, together with the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, we will be launching a special offer for stays of two nights or more, for reservations made during the month of October; and each participant hostel will have discount offers of 45 percent on some of their offerings. We invite the public to join us in this great celebration and take advantage of these offers and raffles,” Ramos said.
Part of the celebration, includes a milestone for the 75-room Parador Boquemar, located in the town of Boquerón in Cabo Rojo, which is also celebrating 45 years of continuous operation.
“We represent one of the economic motors in our community and we have made great improvements to our tourism product to continue attracting visitors to our area. Currently, our hostel is managed by the family’s second generation,” said Angel “Cucho” Rodriguez, co-owner and operator of this ‘parador.’
For Francisco Martinez, General Manager of the Parador and Mesón Gastronómico El Buen Café in Hatillo, the 45th anniversary of ‘paradores’ is a very important celebration.
“I grew up around our hotel and I represent the third generation of our family. Now, I have been entrusted by my grandfather and founder Don Héctor Martinez, to continue the tradition of service and quality that distinguishes us,” said Martinez.
“During the high summer season of 2018, the ‘paradores’ in the association experienced a 38 percent increase in occupancy, versus the same period in 2017. With this investment, we prepare to support the marketing and promotion efforts carried out by the new DMO, Discover Puerto Rico, to present the attractions in all the tourism regions of the island. We have a lot to contribute during the next high winter season, which begins in mid-December, “said Xavier A. Ramirez.