New Milestones and a Bright Horizon for Puerto Rico By Carla Campos, Executive Director, Puerto Rico Tourism Company
or those of you reading this at the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show, we are honored to welcome you to Puerto Rico. Cruise ship travel has long been a vital part of Caribbean economy and, as such, is a fundamental component of Puerto Rico’s tourism industry growth. The island continues to strengthen its position as a leader in the tourism industry in the Caribbean, and the cruise segment continues to thrive at a steady pace. The arrival of new cruises, new routes and the increase in visitors showcase the quality of Puerto Rico as a destination and the attractiveness it has for the cruise industry, as well as its customers. BREAKING RECORDS The cruise industry continues betting on Puerto Rico as a great travel destination for their clients. Our cruise ship incentive program, diverse offer, modern facilities and port infrastructure, the renowned hospitality and warmth of our people, as well the island’s privileged geographic location and convenient air and maritime access options, make Puerto Rico an attractive stop for cruise travelers.
48 THIRD QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
Our forecast for a record breaking 2018/19 FY was met and exceeded. The final tally confirms Puerto Rico welcomed 1,814,157 million visitors arriving on a total of 558 port visits, an economic impact of $217 million to the Island’s economy. This record shows an increase of 304,874 passengers and $18.2 million from the previous record established back in 2014/15 FY. From November 2018 to
”THE CRUISE INDUSTRY HAS PROVEN TO BE A STEADFAST PARTNER THAT CONTINUES TO PLAY AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN FURTHERING PUERTO RICO’S REPUTATION…” January 2019, we welcomed six new ships to our ports: Royal Princess; Symphony of the Seas; Celebrity Edge; Viking Sun; Nieuw Statendam and MSC Magnifica. The arrival of these vessels along new routes and additional visits contribute to the strengthening and non-stop growth Puerto Rico’s tourism industry is experiencing.
The arrival of these guests benefits all sectors of our industry businesses, restaurants, tour operators and other tourism services far beyond the pier area promoting economic development and growth. As the cruise sector’s growth and progress continue, we proactively look for innovative ways to create tools, strengthen alliances, renew our inventory and diversify service and entertainment options. We are committed to maintaining and enhancing Puerto Rico’s image as a world-class destination by providing our guests with a unique visit each time they travel to the island. EXPERIENCE. CONNECT. SHARE. The Caribbean remains the leading cruise destination in the world, and the industry is projected to continue growing through-