SAN JUAN -- New tourism initiatives in Puerto Rico for fiscal year
2003-2004 include hotel construction; improved ground
transportation; a focus on Boston as an emerging gateway; the
opening of a regional tourist office on the island's west coast;
the launch of a statistical page on the island's Web site and the
creation of a tourism rating system.
Jose Suarez, executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Co.
(PRTC), unveiled its business plan during the PRTC's annual
"Tourism is You" industry presentation here.
Suarez referred to the past fiscal year as one "in which we
overcame various challenges, including war and SARS, which directly
affected our industry."
"This year's initiatives will continue Puerto Rico's tourism
industry along a path of growth and economic development," he said.
"Our industry must work together toward a common goal."
Key components of the plan include:
• Development of new air services from the U.S., Europe, South
America and the Caribbean. The PRTC met with 29 airlines last year
in an effort to boost interest in new routes.
• Hotel development, especially on the island's east coast, is
"booming," according to Suarez. He cited the construction of the
San Miguel Four Seasons and JW Marriott Dos Mares hotels, which
begin next year in the Rio Grande region.
• The Condado Trio project in San Juan, which will renovate the
Condado Vanderbilt and La Concha hotels, is "moving forward,"
Plans call for the construction of three condo-hotel towers with
a total room count of 750, an investment of more than $200 million
and the creation of 600 jobs.
• Construction of the Puerto Rico Convention Center in San Juan
is on track for completion in 2005. A Web site at www.prconvention.com was launched recently.
• Suarez said the PRTC is "developing an incentive program for
taxi drivers and ground tour operators to upgrade their
• The PRTC will add Boston as a promotional and marketing focus,
in addition to its established efforts in Chicago, Dallas, Los
Angeles, Miami and New York. Niche markets will also be emphasized,
including golf, scuba, adventure and spa.
• Porta del Sol, a marketing initiative launched last year for
Puerto Rico's west coast, will continue with the opening of a new
visitors center in Cabo Rojo and a regional tourist office in
• A new stats page on www.gotopuertorico.com will include
results from PRTC research studies to help establish an accurate
tourist profile for the destination.
• The PRTC's new Tourism Quality Program will utilize onsite
evaluations, guest comment cards and quality control inspections
performed by the PRTC "as the first steps toward creating a
reliable rating system for Puerto Rico," Suarez said.
To contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].