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Tourism Co. unveils ‘Take Off,’ 1st business accelerator for sector SMEs

Qualified companies will be eligible to receive an economic incentive of up to $5,000 to expand and grow their operations.

The Puerto Rico Tourism Company has launched the “Take Off” program, which it called the first business accelerator aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in tourism, offering up to $5,000 to help expand their operations. Applications are open until May 5.

Through this initiative, 20 companies will be selected to receive training on best strategies and practices from experts. Designed to foster “the rapid and efficient development of existing businesses,” the program will equip participants with the tools, knowledge and resources needed to grow their businesses, government officials said.

Carlos Mercado, executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Co. said, “95% of the companies aimed at tourism in Puerto Rico are SMEs, and at the Tourism Company we have the firm commitment to implement various strategies to promote their development and growth.”

“‘Take Off’ is the most recent initiative that we have designed to strengthen the industry and solidify Puerto Rico as a top-level tourist destination,” he said.

“Furthermore, we’re certain that this program will serve as a tool to create jobs that will have a significant impact on the island’s economy,” he added.

The program offers six training modules, mentorship by experts in various fields, visibility for participating companies on Tourism’s platforms and at events sponsored by the agency.

Eligibility criteria for applicants include having 18 to 36 months of operation and belonging to certain tourism sectors. This includes being part of the sustainable tourism program, endorsed inns with no more than 925 rooms, technology and innovation companies focused on tourism, certified tour operators, or managers of at least five registered short-term rental units.

“This program strengthens all sectors of the tourism offer, improving the experience for both residents and visitors. Training tourism SMEs is part of the Government of Puerto Rico’s commitment to the development of the destination and seeks to promote the expansion of direct and indirect effects in the industry,” Mercado said.

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