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  • The San Juan Daily Star

Governor announces $120 million to promote tourism in PR


By John McPhaul

jpmcphaul@gmail.com


Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia announced on Tuesday the distribution of $120 million for the promotion of Puerto Rico as a tourist destination.


The allocation comes from the $2.47 billion that the island has received through funds from the American Rescue Plan Act.


“Tourism is one of the most important and fastest growing economic sectors in the world, with an annual growth of 2.5 percent during the last decade,” the governor said at a press conference. “For this reason, and due to our natural and cultural charms, we bet on tourism as one of the most important pillars for our economic development and job creation.”


The breakdown of the $120 million will be for five projects and as follows:


First Project: Promotion of Puerto Rico as a tourist destination in the United States and abroad. Economic development by increasing the number of visitors and the duration of their stays -- $50 million (Tourism Co. and DMO). $17.5 million, Improve and strengthen the Puerto Rico brand domestically and globally; $2.5 million, Marketing and Communications Initiatives; $3 million, Promotion to boost the economic growth observed in 2019 and mitigate the negative impact of the pandemic; $2.25 million, Ensure optimal use of available resources. Help small businesses to insert them into digital strategies so that they can be made visible to the visitor; $11.75 million, Marketing directed to attract new visitors through the development of new geographic markets; $10.5 million, Implement sales and service initiatives to attract conventions, events, exhibitions and leisure travel.


Second Project: Revitalize tourist attractions, natural resources and spas -- $30 million (Tourism Co. and Department of Natural Resources of Puerto Rico). Spas: $1.2 million, La Monserrate in Luquillo; $800,000, Cerro Gordo in Vega Alta; $1.5 million, Caña Gorda in Guánica; $1.3 million, Sun Bay in Vieques; $5.2 million, Boquerón in Cabo Rojo; $3 million, Tres Hermanos in Añasco; $2.5 million, Manuel Nolo Morales in Dorado.


Parks: $3 million, for various theme parks such as Parque de las Cavernas de Camuy, among others; $1.5 million, Monte del Estado Ecological Park in Maricao; $1.2 million, Julio Enrique Monagas National Park in Bayamón; $6 million, for other parks and forests as needed.


Third Project: Promotion of domestic tourism -- $20 million (Puerto Rico Tourism Co.). $8 million, Marketing and promotion campaign to increase the demand for domestic tourism; $800,000, Annual study for four years of the profile of domestic tourism; $4 million, Expansion of programs such as Paradores de Puerto Rico, Gastronomic Mesones, Agro-Tourism, Eco-Tourism, Nautical Tourism, Cultural Tourism and Sports Tourism; $4 million, Sponsorships of local events to expand the entertainment offering for 4 years; $2 million, Recovery and development of domestic and international air access, $1.2 million, Reserve for crisis mitigation and management.


Fourth Project: Promote Puerto Rico as a destination for entrepreneurship and conventions -- $10 million (Puerto Rico Tourism Co. and Puerto Rico Convention Center District Authority). $1 million, in “Top Tier” events at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico; $2 million, Raising the image of the Puerto Rico Convention Center; $1 million, Expand the reach of convention centers; $6 million, Increase the production of multi-hotel events, among other initiatives.


Fifth Project: Market Puerto Rico as an investment destination -- $10 million (Invest Puerto Rico and Department of Economic Development and Commerce). $3.5 million, Promotion of Puerto Rico as a competitive investment jurisdiction; $1.5 million, Increase the portfolio of prospects of companies that are considering relocation to the island; $4 million, Raise the competitive assets of Puerto Rico.


Through the promotion of Puerto Rico as a tourist destination abroad, marketing and communications initiatives aligned with the culture of Puerto Rico will be carried out, while strategies will be implemented to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, the governor said. Meanwhile, at the domestic tourism level, urban tourism will be announced and programs such as: Paradores de Puerto Rico, Gastronomic Mesones, agrotourism, ecotourism and nautical-cultural and sports tourism will be expanded, he said.

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