Discover Puerto Rico launches #CoverTheProgress campaign

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The residents of Humacao, Puerto Rico, painted an S.O.S. sign (on left) on a street after Hurricane Maria last year. To mark the recovery progress made since then, a new sign in Spanish now says "Welcome."
The residents of Humacao, Puerto Rico, painted an S.O.S. sign (on left) on a street after Hurricane Maria last year. To mark the recovery progress made since then, a new sign in Spanish now says "Welcome."

Discover Puerto Rico launched a new initiative to underscore the progress of its tourism industry since Hurricane Maria last September.

"Six months after Hurricane Maria hit, more than 50% of travelers said that media coverage negatively impacted their view of Puerto Rico as a destination. We're hoping to change that as the one-year anniversary approaches," said Brad Dean, CEO of Discover Puerto Rico.

"While there's still progress to be made in some areas of the island, we're asking for the vibrancy of the island to be shared and for the milestones achieved to be celebrated," he said.

Local communities and tourism officials are rallying audiences, including the news media, to #CoverTheProgress and share real-time island imagery and milestones in Puerto Rico's comeback story.

As part of the initiative, local members of Humacao -- one of the hardest hit communities that became known for the SOS image painted on one of its streets that went viral -- have a message to share.

They came together to replace the aerial image with a new one that reads "Bievenidos" (Welcome) #CoverTheProgress.

"Being on the island and completely disconnected, we didn't realize how far our message had traveled. We're thankful it did, but now we are ready to turn the page," said Janet Gonzalez, Humacao resident.

"We hope our new positive message spreads just as fast as the first one," she added.

Other milestones achieved on the island include an upsurge in arrivals by air and sea, the reopenings and renovations of luxury properties, the development of a new hospitality and entertainment complex near the Puerto Rico Convention Center to boost the MICE market and the addition of new attractions and culinary offerings.

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