Puerto Rico hotel room tax revenue, bookings up in Jan.

Activity at island hotels seems to be picking up this fiscal year, according to Tourism Company data. (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual) Activity at island hotels seems to be picking up this fiscal year, according to Tourism Company data. (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

The Puerto Rico Tourism Company on Wednesday reported $6.6 million in hotel room tax collections in January, representing a 16.6 percent increase when compared to the same month in 2012, agency Executive Director Ingrid Rivera-Rocafort said.

She attributed the jump to an increase in hotel bookings and a stabilization of hotel rates.

During the first seven months of fiscal ’13, Puerto Rico’s 35 largest hotels have generated $51.9 million in bookings, up 18 percent from the $44 million reported for the same period in 2012. In terms of occupation, hotels were pretty active in January, reporting to be 75 percent full, versus 70.6 percent in January 2012.

Meanwhile, room tax collections, which fluctuate between 5 percent for government-owned vacation facilities to 11 percent for hotels with a casino — have reached $34.4 million so far this fiscal year, up $3.1 million in comparison to the same year-ago period, the Tourism Company said.

“Based on this trend we can definitely conclude that tourism in our island is having a new awakening, which not only benefits our tourism industry but our government budget also benefits from the increase in revenue,” Rivera-Rocafort said. “There are still two months that are considered part of the high season, and from the preliminary data we have so far, the trend is toward growth.”

Author Details
Business reporter with 25 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other areas of the economy.

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