Although Puerto Rico’s image among travel advisors is weaker than that of the perception among consumers, there is a “tremendous amount of interest from travel advisors in learning more about the new Puerto Rico, thus presenting a major opportunity for the Island.”
So said American Society of Travel Advisors CEO Zane Kerby, in Puerto Rico this week as a part of a strategic alliance with Discover Puerto Rico to continue driving the promotion of Puerto Rico outside of the island.
During a conference held at the Universidad Ana G. Méndez, Kerby presented the opportunities that Puerto Rico has among the travel advisor community, as well as, the current perception that ASTA travel advisors have of the island, based on a survey carried out between May and June of 2019.
“Travel advisors are eager to learn more about Puerto Rico to better sell the destination. They are also open to utilizing multiple tools, either online or through personal training, to better their familiarity with the island and its offerings,” said Kerby, who has been interested in Puerto Rico and dedicated to the island’s recovery, and visited Puerto Rico in December 2017 immediately after Hurricane María, to support rebuild efforts at the Camuy Caves.
Travel advisors want to learn more about what is happening in Puerto Rico and want to continue to receive information by participating in seminars or accessing learning materials online, he said.
Among the findings obtained in the survey, it also notes that they utilize the destination’s website to offer information to their clients, followed by guides and online publications, Kerby added.
“For Discover Puerto Rico, it is important to understand the perception of the Island among travel advisors and how the organization can provide the necessary tools to better position Puerto Rico within their recommendation set,” said Discover Puerto Rico CEO Brad Dean.
“We’re succeeding in driving increased length of stay and non-metro visitation, making Puerto Rico the ideal destination for travel advisors to sell. We’re partnering with ASTA to increase our promotion of the Island among the travel advisor community and our goal is to double the number of travel agent bookings,” Dean added.
Kerby handles the internal and external affairs of ASTA and reports directly to the board of directors. Prior to ASTA, Kerby worked with the Global Business Travel Association. In 2009, he held the position of senior vice president in charge of all the aspects of the annual global GBTA convention.
Discover Puerto Rico is strengthening its relationship with ASTA with the goal of doubling the number of travel advisor bookings in the next five years, the entity said.