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Puerto Rico top destination among online searches year-to-date, says Google

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People across the globe are itching to travel once again, and based on Google searches, Puerto Rico is “the fastest-growing destination in the world,” Discover Puerto Rico, the island’s Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) confirmed.

According to recent travel search data calculated by Destination Insights with Google, which monitors travel trends, Puerto Rico is the top destination with the highest travel interest in the world for the period between Jan. 1 and April 7, 2021.

The findings are consistent with the DMO’s data, which indicates that the island’s tourism industry is “seeing clear signs of recovery” following the impacts of COVID-19.

For the week ending April 3, hotel occupancy was 83.1%, nearly triple the occupancy at the start of the year and was the highest since the week ending March 17, 2019 when occupancy was 84%.

Current bookings through the end of the DMO’s fiscal year are exceeding that of the record-setting pace of 2019, when the destination saw its highest numbers in tourism, in the destination’s history, including lodging revenue, it added.

“I’m delighted to see our great industry tracking towards the bright future ahead of us, and even more so following the increasing global interest for travel to the island,” said Discover Puerto Rico CEO Brad Dean.

“Discover Puerto Rico’s strategy of targeting responsible travelers, who are eager to abide by Puerto Rico’s COVID-19 health and safety guidelines, is in effect, working to attracting travelers seeking a safe and accommodating destination for 2021, and beyond,” he said.

Since March 2020, when the global pandemic began, Discover Puerto Rico has focused on creative and targeted promotional strategies — guided by data-driven insights — designed to keep the island top-of-mind as those globally look to their future travel plans.

Among approaches was the creation of first-for-the-Caribbean virtual tours, highlighting 22 of the island’s top destinations and activities. These immersive tours, conducted virtually by local partners, drew thousands of online visitors, increasing their interest in Puerto Rico for future travel, Discover Puerto Rico said.

Additional efforts that yielded successful engagement and strong earned media traction included the “Adopt a Coqui” program and partnerships with small businesses on the island, including Brands of Puerto Rico.

And based on the Destination Insights with Google findings, ?the approaches by the DMO are reaping significant results,” Dean said.

“Our island’s citizens are resilient, and their hard work and determination have been on display throughout the pandemic. By taking a common-sense, pragmatic approach to responsible tourism during these troubled times, I believe we are attracting the interest of travelers who are as impressed by the island’s devotion to safety as they are its many historic, cultural and natural attractions,” Dean said.

“Once again, Puerto Rico is overcoming challenges with strength and optimism,” added Dean.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.
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