NEW YORK -- Travel agents figure front and center in the latest
piece of an $11 million promotion effort launched by Puerto Rico
tourism officials to spur arrivals from the mainland U.S.
As part of a six-week "incentive promotion," agents who book
Puerto Rico Fun vacation packages between Jan. 13 to Feb. 23 -- for
travel in the Feb. 2 to April 15 high season -- are automatically
entered into drawings for $100 daily and $1,000 weekly prizes, and
a $10,000 grand prize.
Following Sept. 11, Puerto Rico, like many destinations, took a
hit, said Milton Segarra, executive director of the Puerto Rico
Tourism Co., at the ASTA World Travel Congress here Nov. 6.
"But thanks to these initiatives we're taking, we will be able
to put the industry back on track," he said, adding that Puerto
Rico's hotels have regained from 45% to 60% of the business lost
immediately after the terrorist attacks.
Other new initiatives include a free airfare promotion and a $15
million nationwide television and print ad campaign.
The Fly Free to Puerto Rico deal, crafted in partnership with
American Airlines, Continental, Delta, Spirit and ATA, offers up to
two free roundtrip tickets for every hotel room booked for at least
five nights through a participating wholesaler.
The offer runs through Dec. 15, for travel originating in New
York, Newark, Chicago Midway, and Orlando, Miami or Fort
Participating wholesalers include Gogo Worldwide Vacations,
Travel Impressions, American Airline Vacations, Continental
Vacations, Inter Island Vacations, Brendan Tours, Classic Custom
Vacations, ATA Vacations, Apple Vacations and Carradona.
Tourism officials also recently unveiled a revamped PRTC Web
site as part of the new "You're Not Dreaming, You're in Puerto
Rico" ad campaign.