Discover Puerto Rico, the island’s first destination marketing organization, reports that occupancy spending hit an eight-year high during the period of January – April of 2019, withy a total of $373.6 million. What’s more, that number represents a 12.4 percent increase over 2017 pre-Hurricane Maria levels, the organization said.
Discover Puerto Rico attributed the growth to a rise in bookings of vacation rental properties, which accounted for 23 percent of the increase. Additionally, passenger arrivals are now on par with pre-Maria levels, reaching 1.5 million for the January – April timeframe.
Discover Puerto Rico is approaching its one-year anniversary. Other positive tourism indicators cited by the organization include a five-year high in 2019 YTD leads and bookings in the MICE sector; a 23.8 percent year-over-year increase in air traffic at San Juan’s airport during Q1; and a 28.9 percent year-over-year increase in cruise visitors during January, along with a 56.6 percent increase in homeport cruise passengers.
Virtuoso also ranked Puerto Rico number three in experiencing the largest year-over-year percentage increase in summer bookings, a 149 percent jump, while Airbnb saw Puerto Rico lead the top 10 global trending destinations list for this upcoming summer, accounting for three spots on the list: Dorado, Vieques and Rio Grande. Each had a 400 percent increase in Airbnb bookings when compared to 2018.
Also early this year, Puerto Rico grabbed the leading spot on The New York Times “52 Places to Go” list, while Discover Puerto Rico launched a new website and brand campaign, “Have We Met Yet,” aimed at reintroducing the destination to the world.
Coming up are the 500-year anniversary of the city of San Juan, taking place with cultural events this fall; the opening of District San Juan, a five-acre hospitality and entertainment district; and being the host destination for the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) 2020 Global Summit.