Discover Puerto Rico as revealed a new initiative to underscore the progress Puerto Rico’s tourism industry has made since Hurricane Maria.
As the one-year mark approaches and old imagery resurfaces in the news and in social media, local tourism and community members are rallying audiences everywhere, including news media, to #CoverTheProgress and share real-time Island imagery and the many milestones that have led the Island in one of the greatest comeback stories in tourism.
This initiative stemmed from the strong sentiment of the local community paired with reactions from recent travellers to Puerto Rico.
Tourism benefits everyone on the Island, and sharing the positive milestones achieved within the tourism industry will help continue to attract travellers – helping to drive the recovery forward.
“Six months after Hurricane Maria hit, more than fifty percent of travellers said media coverage negatively impacted their view of Puerto Rico as a destination and we’re hoping to change that as the one-year anniversary approaches.
“Puerto Rico declared itself open for tourism in late December, and the local tourism industry has worked very hard for the past year to come back strong.
“There’s a lot to celebrate and we don’t want the one-year anniversary to set us back,” said Brad Dean, chief executive 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 Puerto Rico as a tourism destination to also be shared and for the milestones the local industry and communities worked hard to achieve to be celebrated.
“We’re taking this moment to encourage all audiences to help us spotlight our tourism recovery and invite travellers to visit us as tourism is a vital contributor to the economy.”
As part of this initiative, local members of Humacao – one of the Island’s hardest hit communities that became well known for the SOS image that went viral in the immediate aftermath of the storm – have a message to share.
They came together with the local tourism industry to replace the aerial image in hopes that this image also goes viral.
This time, the message reads: “Bienvenidos!”
“Being on the Island and completely disconnected, we didn’t realise how far our picture travelled.
“We’re thankful it did.
“But now, we’re ready to turn the page.
“We’ve been wanting to clean up that message for a while as we’re past it.
“We were asked what message we’d want to share with the world and hope our new positive message spreads just as fast,” said Janet Gonzalez, resident of Humacao.
Flight capacity is on the rise with monthly seat capacity surpassing 420,000 spaces.
There are currently on average 110 daily flights via 28 different airlines, and relationships with airlines continue to drive growth.
By quarter four, the destination is poised to make a full turnaround and be on par with 2017 levels.
Puerto Rico currently offers 132 diverse lodging options.
Next month, travellers will have even more choices with iconic luxury hotels reopening after taking the time to renovate and new hotels opening their doors.