Island tourism projected to lose $271 million to pandemic
By John McPhaul
Carla Campos, executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Co. (CTPR by its Spanish initials), estimated the losses this year in the island industry due to the economic closure necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic at about $271 million, when compared to the same time period last year.
“We were able to do a local analysis and that indicates that we are going to close 2020 with a figure that is not at all encouraging,” Campos said in a radio interview Thursday. “In the hotel sector, $271 million will have been lost compared to the previous year.”
“At the passenger arrival level, it is projected that we will close the year with 50 percent fewer passenger arrivals,” Campos added. “Obviously these are figures that reflect the reality in which we live.”
The CTPR executive director announced that “the recovery is going to be one that will last at least from 24 to 36 months.”
“It will not be until 2023 or 2024 that we will be seeing figures that are relatively comparable to 2019,” she said.
Regarding the loss of jobs in the tourism industry, Campos estimated that there will be a 70 percent reduction in the market. That equates to 14,000 fewer hotel jobs.
The official urged Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced to reopen attractions in the tourism sector, such as swimming pools and beaches, among others.