Rise in the cost of tickets drives internal tourism on the Island | Others

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 Rise in the cost of tickets drives internal tourism on the Island |  Others

Even with the reopening of international tourism markets due to the reduction in infections with covid-19, the demand for domestic tourism on the Island has remained at the level it had at the beginning of the pandemic, which representatives of the tourism sector consulted by THE SPOKESPERSON attributed to the exponential rise in the cost of air tickets.

Looking ahead to the high season of the summer months, Puerto Ricans have chosen to vacation on the Island in order to save money, so it is expected that the number of reservations in the country’s inns made by domestic tourists will increase and remain the same.

“Definitely, staying always brings savings. Going out of Puerto Rico obviously has some great attractions because you are going to visit other destinations, but there are other associated expenses that, if you do it in Puerto Rico, there is part of savings”, stated Daphne Barbeito, president of the Tourism Alliance for Puerto Rico (ATPR). “It is likely that for an economic reason the resident decides to divide his vacations, one in Puerto Rico and another outside”abounded.

According to Barbeito, after the covid-19 pandemic, in Puerto Rico there was an increase in the supply and demand for domestic tourism in any season of the year —both in traditional inns and in short-term rentals— which encouraged the growth of tourism. intern in areas that were previously little frequented.

“Historically, we used to visit beaches a lot, and now I think there has been a development or a greater impact on the mountains. Obviously, what is the beach has been maintained, but I have seen greater growth in what is the mountain area”, she added.

In data provided by the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, since 2020 internal tourist activity increased by 30% and they expect it to remain the same despite the opening of international tourism markets.

The president of the Puerto Rico Hotel and Tourism Association (Prhta), Joaquín Bolívarprojects the continuity of internal tourist activity for this season.

“Tourism has continued well, both external and internal tourism. Historically, it is in the summer that there is an increase in internal tourism for what are the inns and for what are the smaller hotels outside the metropolitan area”, Bolívar specified.

He highlighted the economic impact that this increase will have on the number of Puerto Ricans housed in inns and small inns on the Island.

“It has a direct benefit to small hotels and inns, that has a direct impact on their community,” said the president of the Prhta.

While, Xavier Ramírez, president of the Association of Paradores and Small Puerto Rican Inns (Apphp) reported that there are already groups of families that have begun to reserve until August, so they urged those who are interested to reserve in time.

“I know that there are already many people interested and calling to make their reservations. The inns are starting to fill up for the peak dates, so we urge people not to leave it for last,” said Ramírez.

Ramírez awarded the increase in interest in doing internal tourism to the passport of the 78 municipalities launched by the Tourism Company as part of the campaign “One Island, 78 Destinations”. He also indicated that the inns have made offers to encourage Puerto Ricans to book more than two nights, particularly in the mountain towns.

“We have a parador in the mountains and it has been having very good occupancy this year, an increase compared to last year. Before, it was always the inns on the coast that filled up, but now they are all filling up, including those in the mountains. It has been very positive. There has been a ‘boom’ in staying in hostels and doing domestic tourism,” added Ramírez.

In Puerto Rico there are 12 inns and hundreds of small inns.

The Tourism Company reacts

After the reception given to the launch of the passport —with more than 500,000 copies distributed— the director of the Tourism Company, Carlos Mercado, expressed that by combining the participation of foreign and native tourists, he hopes that hotel reservations will continue to increase, and consequently, the collections.

Mercado explained that in recent months Puerto Rico broke a record in tax collection, with $13.7 million in March and $12 million in April, more than double last year.

“What we are seeing in the projections is an extremely high percentage of hotel occupancy. We are already getting into what is May and we still see how hotel occupancy remains above 80% throughout Puerto Rico,” Mercado highlighted.

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