Holiday hotel room reservations show sharp rise
By The Star Staff
Hotel room reservations in Puerto Rico for the last week of 2021 are 41% higher than those recorded for the same period in 2019, according to TravelClick.
The increase coincides with the inclusion of Puerto Rico as one of the venues for “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” an event that will expose the archipielago to over 18 million viewers in the U.S. and abroad.
The increase breaks trends given that, with the COVID-19 pandemic, travelers plan their visits with less anticipation and, contrary to previous years, many are still coordinating their trips for the remainder of the year and the first months of 2022. Specifically, the Adara firm, which specializes in monitoring tourist behavior, estimates that, on average, visitors exposed to Discover Puerto Rico’s marketing efforts are planning their trips 36 days in advance, rather than 51 days ahead of time as they have previously exhibited. There are 45 days until New Year’s Eve.
“By the end of October we saw a significant increase in reservations, both for the last quarter of 2021, and for the beginning of 2022. What happened?” said Alisha Valentine, director of research and analysis at Discover Puerto Rico. “First, the transmission levels of the delta variant were lowered. Also, vaccine boosters have been available. With that, it has improved how consumers feel about travel. And finally, Governor Pedro Pierluisi and the Convention District announced an agreement to bring ‘Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve’ to Puerto Rico. With that, the bookings for the end of the year are 41% higher than the same period two years ago.”
Valentine’s remarks emerged during a videoconference in which she and other executives at Puerto Rico’s destination marketing organization provided updates on information and efforts associated with the development of the island’s tourism industry.
Just the announcement that Puerto Rico would be one of the venues for “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” an annual event broadcast on the ABC television network, has generated positive publicity for the destination valued at over $10 million.
Valentine also said preliminary data for October show that the island exceeded $1 billion revenue in visitor accommodations, a number never before seen by the industry in Puerto Rico, which she said shows the rapid recovery experienced locally after the ravages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.