The Puerto Rico Tourism Co. announced a
four-year strategic tourism plan for the destination's Porta Caribe
region, comprising 15 municipalities along the south coast,
according to Terestella Gonzalez Denton, executive director.
The plan is part of
the island's overall Tourism Master Plan.
The focus of the
plan calls for identifying strategies that will increase the
tourism potential of the region, which includes the towns of Ponce,
Guanica, Salinas, Santa Isabel and Yauco, among others.
marketing plan for Porta Caribe, we are entering a new phase where
it is vital to incorporate the private sector in the marketing,
promotion and public relations efforts to be developed," Gonzalez
called for cooperation "in all sectors so that we encourage
economic development and job creation in the municipalities of the
The publicity and
promotional plan for Porta Caribe, which initially got a $1 million
infusion as part of the destination's Tourism Master Plan, will be
"strengthened," according to the executive director.
The region welcomed
more than 166,000 visitors last year, an increase of 7.5% compared
Specifics of the
new strategic plan highlight the importance of improved air access
to Mercedita Airport in Ponce, the main airport serving the
Flights to Ponce
were launched this year by Cape Air and Continental. Spirit will
begin service from Fort Lauderdale on Nov. 1, and JetBlue debuts
its Fort Lauderdale flights to Ponce on Nov. 5.
improvements will include a program called "Mi Isla Preciosa" (My
Precious Island) that will feature road and highway development,
new signage, road maintenance and garbage disposal
hotel developments include a four-room addition to the Plaza Las
Delicias Hotel located at the Plaza de Recreo Las Delicias in
central Ponce, the conversion of the 300-room Vista Magna Hotel
from the former InterContinental property in Ponce and the
expansion of the 58-room Pichi's Hotel & Convention Center in
Guayanilla west of Ponce.
As for sea
arrivals, the Port of the Americas in Ponce, primarily a cargo
port, is expanding its deep-water facilities. Celebrity Cruises and
Holland America Line have expressed interest in cruise calls in
Ponce, according to Gonzalez Denton.
contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].