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Tourism Company unveils new ’12 campaign at PRHTA convention

Tourism Co. Executive Director Mario González-Lafuente unveils the agency's upcoming advertising campaign.

The Puerto Rico Tourism Company unveiled its promotions, marketing and public relations plans for the 2011-12 tourism season during a presentation Thursday before members of the Puerto Rico Hotel and Tourism Association.

The campaign focuses on the “Puerto Rico does the best tourism in the Caribbean” slogan, slightly spinning the administration’s “Puerto Rico does it best” motto.

The print, outdoor media, television, digital and interactive media campaign displays the great variety of options available on the island, looking to position Puerto Rico as the most complete and diverse destination in the Caribbean.

“This season’s integrated communications plan contemplates all the disciplines and ensures that our message will reach desired audiences,” González-Lafuente said.

The plan also calls for sweeping public relations efforts on the U.S. mainland and in international markets. The agency will launching the first phase of its advertising campaign in its primary markets including New York, Washington, D.C. and Miami in coming days.

P.R. well-positioned, DMO a go
As part of his presentation, González-Lafuente shared details of the latest results by statistics firm Smith Travel Research, which confirmed Puerto Rico’s leadership in the Caribbean region.

Based on occupancy rates from January to August, Puerto Rico held the first position among the most frequented destinations in the Caribbean, with an occupancy rate of 73.5 percent. The Dominican Republic took second place with 69.8 percent followed by Aruba with 66.5 percent, the U.S. Virgin Islands with 64.5 percent, Barbados with 63.1 percent, and the Bahamas with 61 percent.

In terms of average rate, the research revealed that Puerto Rico had a 4.2 percent increase compared to the same period last year. The income per available room showed a jump to 6.8 percent after a decrease of 0.2 the previous year.

Despite the positive numbers, PRHTA President Ismael Vega said Wednesday that revenue per room has been dwindling in recent years, significantly hurting hotel bottom lines.

Among other things, Vega said the island must increase visitor traffic even further, stressing the need for a Destination Marketing Organization that would be responsible for creating a consistent brand and market for Puerto Rico.

The initiative has Gov. Luis Fortuño’s support, and on Thursday, González-Lafuente confirmed his.

“This administration will do what is needed to safeguard the interests of the industry, an example of which is the commitment of our governor to submit legislation in favor of implementing a DMO,” he said. “We’re sure that aggressive measures such as this one will contribute to the stability of this important sector for our economy which generates over 60,000 and contributes between six and seven percent to our gross national product.”

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 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 segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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