The Puerto Rico Hotel & Tourism Association unveiled Monday details of a strategic alliance with local and international businesses that seeks to strengthen the island’s lure as a destination, to be known as “PUR Puerto Rico.”
With this alliance, the PRHTA seeks to change the way of doing business through partnerships and education among industry players to reinforce Puerto Rico’s economic development, said Ismael Vega, chairman of the trade group’s board.
The benefit program — which Vega said is the first of its kind designed for a destination — will be driven by an upscale marketing platform that combines various components such as hotels, restaurants, shopping, adventure, products and entertainment, among others and will be available to all PRHTA members.
The initiative that is being created by experts from Colombia, Brazil and the U.S. mainland, should be rolled out by year’s end, he said.
“These people have created similar platforms in the past, but never one for a destination, such as this one,” Vega said.
The PUR Puerto Rico program is being designed based on the latest and most modern information technology, consisting of a database of more than 180 million U.S. consumers, which should generate an increase in movement and new clientele, he said.
“This is the same data base that mayor clients such as Disney and Seaworld use to generate new traffic and customer leads,” he said. “These technologies will identify and secure a new world of customers, opening the doors to our destination and the PUR Puerto Rico program.”
Program participants will receive a membership card on which they will start to rack up benefits, including exclusive packages and discounts that they will receive via email. Initially, the PRHTA and its partners have signed up more than 1,500 points of sale across the island, of which 1,000 are already operating.
Various industry sectors have already committed to the program, including Hilton Hotels and Casinos, the American Society of Travel Agents, the Puerto Rico Restaurant Association, and certain shopping centers.
“The PUR card literally opens doors as it could be used at hotels to purchase concert tickets or adventure around the island by buying a guided tour; to pay for a romantic dinner at hundreds of participating restaurants or go on a shopping spree,” Vega said during the first day of the PRHTA’s annual convention being held at the Condado Plaza Hilton in San Juan.
Because this program will be run fully by the private sector, it should be sheltered from the political flip-flops associated with the government.
“We will be ensuring this initiative has continuity, our partners will make sure of that,” Vega said.