"Thank You Puerto Rico, 2021: A Record Year for Tourism"

The Puerto Rico Tourism Co. (PRTC) joins today the commemoration of World Tourism Day with the news that 2021 has become a record year for tourism on the island. This has been evidenced by the highest figures recorded in room tax collections during the first eight months of the calendar year, with six of these registering the highest numbers since 2008.

As PRTC reports show, the month of July reflects the highest impact on room tax collections with an unprecedented $11,155,042, compared to $7,059,467 in July 2017, which had been the highest. It is followed by the month of June, which in 2014 reflected $6,567,228, also significantly surpassing it with a total of $10,341,325.

During the current year there has been a robust increase in the collection of taxes in new inns of various modalities, with short-term rentals as the fastest growing. In total, there are currently 4,306 lodgings registered in the PRTC's tax collection division, which reflects an increase of 24 percent from the 3,471 registered in 2020.

"At the Puerto Rico Tourism Co., we are extremely pleased and grateful for the boom and growth that our industry has had this year 2021, after such a difficult time that has been experienced throughout the world, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, reaching even historical levels in the collections of lodgings and the establishment of new tourist companies. For this reason, today we celebrate World Tourism Day with great enthusiasm under the slogan established by the UNWTO, Tourism for Inclusive Growth," PRTC Executive Director Carlos Mercado Santiago.

According to Mercado, "we can say that we have experienced one of the most fruitful stages in the history of tourism in Puerto Rico, since we have counted on the active inclusion of talent, effort and collaboration from different segments that contribute to the sector, such as: agribusinesses, tour operators, managers and waiters of restaurants, porters, flight attendants, cruise lines, carriers, among many others; and of course the local and international tourists who visit us and who make up the universe that moves the tourism industry. All this results in economic development for Puerto Rico."

In commemoration of World Tourism Day, he delivered the Proclamation of the Gov. Pedro R. Pierluisi to five tourism companies that exemplify the theme of Tourism for Inclusive Growth. These are:

Bici Caño – It just joined as an endorsed company and obtained its Ecotourism certification. It tours the G8 communities and touch on the proposals that the UNWTO presents as an objective for the strengthening of Global Tourism.

Balneario Playa Puerto Nuevo – Awarded under the Blue Flag Program. Among its offers (and compliance criteria) is the power to guarantee access to the beach to anyone who has a physical limitation that prevents or complicates their access and enjoyment of the sea.

Peniel Access Eco Tour – Endorsed company that offers accessible kayak experiences in the Laguna Grande in Fajardo and a pioneer in having special equipment to guarantee the experience to all people.

Punta Tuna Eco Tours – Endorsed community-based ecotourism company. Among its offer of tours are included interpretive signs suitable for blind people and specialized chairs for better movement along the sidewalks for people who use wheelchairs, among others.

Puerto Rico Al Sur – Endorsed ecotourism company that meets community inclusion.

"It is worth noting the interest that Puerto Rican businesspeople have shown in betting on the tourism industry to develop their businesses. This is a factor that enriches the market and the experience we offer to the visitor, which helps us add more diversity and strength to the positioning of Puerto Rico as a world-class tourist destination," Mercado stated.

As part of the initiatives that the PRTC carries out within the framework of the celebration of World Tourism Day 2021, the government entity published the message "Thank You Puerto Rico, 2021: A Record Year for Tourism" on its social networks and on digital billboards around the island, in collaboration with private companies.

In turn, the companies recognized today will be reviewed throughout the week on the institutional social networks of the PRTC and the Voy Turisteando brand, in order to publicize the faces of tourism in Puerto Rico, community-based programs, and those that offer accessible experiences to people with physical limitations.

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