SAN JUAN — Discover Puerto Rico marked its one-year anniversary as the island’s first-ever Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) by announcing a record-breaking year in tourism.
Year-to-date revenue is the highest in the island’s history, with US$445 million reported through May. Puerto Rico received 1.67 million visitors across the San Juan, Ponce and Aguadilla airports in the first few months of 2019, the highest number of airport arrivals in the January-April timeframe in its history.
“Despite the World Travel & Tourism Council estimating a recovery between 2021-2022, and New Orleans taking eight years to get back to pre-Katrina levels, we set an aggressive goal to fast-track the visitor economy at a record pace for the benefit of local communities, said Brad Dean, CEO of Discover Puerto Rico.
Since its inception last July, Discover Puerto Rico quickly embarked on a mission to reposition the destination’s brand that include five major initiatives, which include:
- Decreasing negative perception: Consumers’ likelihood to visit Puerto Rico increased 6 points over the past year, an impressive jump despite significantly reduced marketing budgets.
- Repositioning the brand for growth: The DMO developed a new brand identity and launched a new campaign that has already yielded results. Data shows that visitors who are exposed to the campaign are staying nearly three days longer than those who haven’t been.
- Revamping digital marketing that drives results: Discover Puerto Rico’s new website is proving effective. Since launch, traffic is up 128%, while pages per session are up 34%, showing people are engaging with a range of content. Time on the site is also up 31%.
- Catapulting the meetings and conventions business: Lead-generated and contracted events are the highest they’ve been in five years. Requested and contracted rooms are also at an all-time high, while conversions on bookings are up 121%.
- Increasing operational efficiency and effectiveness: The DMO is preparing for industry accreditation to position it among the highest in quality and performance standards for destination marketing and management.
Discover Puerto Rico also announced that it has appointed UK-based travel representation and PR consultancy Hills Balfour, an MMGY Global company, as its international representation agency. It will oversee Discover Puerto Rico’s marketing, trade and PR interests in Canada, Colombia, Germany, Spain and the U.K.