Hoteliers and small-inn owners in Vieques — who have seen their occupancy rates drop by 14 percent during the first eight months of the current fiscal year — are being offered the chance to participate in a two-day training workshop that the Puerto Rico Tourism Company has scheduled to promote sustainable tourism.
The workshops, to be offered by representatives of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, March 28-31, are also being extended to Culebra and hotels in the Carolina area. Topics on the agenda are energy, water and solid waste management and recycling programs for hotels.
“Vieques andCulebraaretwoisland municipalitiesthatcouldmake the most ofthese initiatives,astouristswho visit them areseekingprimarilyto [take advantage of] the riches ofits landscape, a feeling ofgeneralwell-being, and connectingwith naturethat they do notgetelsewhere,” Tourism Co. Executive Director Mario González Lafuente said.
“That’s whyweare targetingthissectorand we aresincerelyinterested incooperatingwith hotelierstoreapbenefitsfor themasbusinessowners, forthe islandsas adestination, andthePuerto Ricantourism industryin general,” he added.
Tourism Co. statistics show that some 6,748 people have visited and stayed in Vieques from July 2010 to February 2011, down 14 percent from the 7,821 visitors that traveled to the island municipality during the same period the prior year.
The free seminars will take place in Vieques, at the multiple uses center on March 28 and at individual hotel properties on March 29. Workshops in Culebra will take place March 29-30 at the Ecological School and individual hotels, respectively. Finally, the EPA will take its conference to the Universidad del Este in Carolina March 31.
For more information, call (787) 721-2400, ext. 2229.
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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.