Stats: Puerto Rico Travel Demand Back to Pre-Maria Levels

Discover Puerto Rico has announced that 2019 Q1 lodging demand parallels 2017 Q1 levels just fourteen months post-Hurricane Maria. Independent rental demand is up 72 percent from 2017 Q1 levels, underscoring a large growth in visitors.

The remainder of 2019 is booking 24.1 percent higher than 2018 levels. This is expected to continue to rise as the average booking to arrival window is approximately 2.5 months.

Discover Puerto Rico created a short-term goal to recover the island to a point concurrent with pre-Maria levels by the hurricane’s two-year anniversary. From the 2019 Q1 results, Discover Puerto Rico has achieved this goal earlier than expected.  

Additional milestones of Puerto Rico’s tourism industry include:

  • 2019 Q1 leads and bookings in the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events (MICE) space exceed past three year and five year averages.
  • Air access has been growing at all airports. San Juan International airport (SJU) saw a 23.8 percent year-over-year increase in air traffic in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the first three months of 2018.
  • Puerto Rico’s cruise industry has broken records. January 2019 numbers reflect an increase from previous years of 28.9 percent of visitors to the port and there has been a 56.6 percent increase in homeport cruise passengers compared to January 2018.
  • There are approximately 156 hotels accepting reservations. Short-term rentals provide travelers more than 8,000 options across the entire Island and sister islands of Vieques and Culebra.

In other Puerto Rico news, the destination is slated to host the World Travel & Tourism Council 2020 Global Summit, held April 21 – 23, 2020. Gloria Guevara Manzo, president and CEO of WTTC, and Puerto Rico’s governor, Ricardo Rosselló Nevares, announced the location at the closing ceremony of the 2019 Global Summit in Seville, Spain.

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