Tourism Demand in Puerto Rico Sees Significant Growth in 2023

Puerto Rico’s tourism sector is experiencing a notable surge as tourism demand shows a remarkable increase of 14% in 2023, driving positive economic growth.

During the first four months of the year, lodging income also witnessed substantial growth, reaching an estimated €680 million, representing a significant 20% increase compared to the same period last year.

Between January and April 2023, passenger arrivals, tourism demand, and lodging income displayed strong upward trends, underscoring the consistent growth in the visitor economy over the past two years. Moreover, reservations for the second and third quarters have surpassed the levels seen in 2022, reflecting the overall positive momentum across various sectors, including hotels, short-term rentals, and flights to Puerto Rico’s airports.

Brad Dean, CEO of Discover Puerto Rico, expressed optimism about the current situation, highlighting the increasing demand, the strength of the brand, and the rise in employment opportunities within the tourism industry. These encouraging results coincide with the 5th anniversary of Discover Puerto Rico, showcasing the success of the destination marketing organizations (DMO) model implemented on the island.

Cecilia Rodríguez, an analyst and researcher at Discover Puerto Rico, emphasized the positive trajectory observed during the first and second quarters. Key indicators for the period up to April demonstrated significant improvements compared to the previous year. Notably, lodging revenue from hotels and short-term rentals reached €680 million, marking a substantial 20% increase. Passenger arrivals recorded an 18.6% growth, while the demand for accommodations surpassed 2022 levels by 14%.

A recent visitor profile study conducted by Discover Puerto Rico revealed an increasing number of older travelers visiting the island. The study indicated a 5% increase among Baby Boomers and a 2% rise among Generation X. Although currently only a small fraction of Baby Boomers consider Puerto Rico as a travel destination, this presents a significant growth opportunity, especially now that the COVID-19 pandemic crisis has subsided and this generation feels more comfortable traveling.

Dalissa Zeda, Digital Marketing Director at Discover Puerto Rico, provided updates on the Live Boricua campaign, including the production of new advertisements and strategic content placements during film premieres such as Fast X and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. The campaign also focuses on promoting the southern and western regions of Puerto Rico, as well as ensuring beach safety. Ed Carey, Chief Sales Officer, reported a 47% increase in events and conventions on the island between July 2022 and May 2023, resulting in a 4.8% improvement in reservations.

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