These are sun-filled days for Uncover Puerto Rico (DPR), the island’s official vacation spot advertising and marketing group. Puerto Rico was certainly one of six Caribbean Tourism Group (CTO) nations to surpass its pre-pandemic customer arrivals numbers in 2022.
The customer surge has continued in 2023, as post-outbreak wanderlust has mixed with the island’s increasing air hyperlinks, its array of points of interest and a various resort base to drive customer arrivals to report totals.
TravelPulse spoke lately with Leah Chandler, DPR’s chief advertising and marketing officer, to debate DPR’s technique because it navigated the territory’s tourism business by way of pandemic-imposed challenges.
TP: How did Puerto Rico’s tourism business carry out in 2022?
LC: We had one other unimaginable 12 months in 2022. We’re so thrilled to see vacationers reply to the advertising and marketing of the DMO has been activating over the previous couple of years.
We had a report variety of passenger arrivals coming by way of San Juan and a report variety of folks employed [in] tourism and hospitality in Puerto Rico. It’s now the very best ever at virtually 92,000 folks.
This speaks to the significance of the work [DPR] is doing alongside our personal business companions. We’re producing a variety of financial worth from tourism and have began off actually sturdy within the first quarter as nicely. We’re hoping to proceed the momentum by way of the remainder of the 12 months.
TP: How did the Puerto Rico Sunshine promotion affect the island’s tourism?
LC: Puerto Rico Sunshine has been an superior activation for us. It was in January of 2022 that we began speaking about this idea and it actually ballooned into one thing I believe a lot greater than any of us anticipated.
Our partnership with Pantone final 12 months [created] the primary coloration impressed by the colour of Puerto Rican sunshine. We really labored with a physicist right here in Puerto Rico who helped us measure the shades of the Puerto Rican solar all through the day. The colour that we landed on was derived principally by way of these wealthy orange tones in dawn and sundown.
TP: Did the marketing campaign exceed expectations?
LC: Sure. Since then, it is sort of taken on of a lifetime of its personal. We launched the partnership with the Pantone Shade Institute and went on to type a partnership with clothier Christian Cowan, who developed a good looking couture piece that he debuted at New York Vogue Week.
We rolled that into a number of different partnerships with native distributors right here in Puerto Rico [including] our personal nail polish and a line of sandals.
TP: How does the Sunshine Route tie into Puerto Rico Sunshine?
LC: The Sunshine Route is a map of places all through the island the place you can’t solely cease in and go to companies which have the sunshine merchandise, but additionally the most effective locations [to] see sunrises and the sunsets throughout the island.
Now we have a couple of extra to return [with] lot of legs with the partnership. We’re simply going to rock on with it. We’re simply seeing heaps and plenty of curiosity and pleasure.
TP: What’s new in the important thing metropolis of San Juan in 2023?
LC: The opening of Distrito TMobile in August of 2021 triggered the explosion of what’s a brand new San Juan, juxtaposed towards the historic [district]. San Juan for positive goes to proceed to be a cornerstone of all of the advertising and marketing we do as a vacation spot. However [DPR is] preserving in thoughts the significance of creating a tourism product that’s sustainable for years to return.
TP: So DPR can also be highlighting different areas of the island?
LC: Sure. Now we have 78 municipalities in Puerto Rico and people different 77 municipalities even have unimaginable tourism [experiences], from eating to out of doors recreation in the one rainforest within the U.S. forest system, to bioluminescent bays and the central mountain area’s espresso haciendas.
We’re highlighting communities all through your complete island. [Visitors] can have a distinct expertise each single day in Puerto Rico regardless of how lengthy they’re on trip.
TP: How did Uncover Puerto Rico leverage this deal with Puerto Rico’s variety?
LC: It’s the place “Reside Boricua” was born, this concept that we are able to “personal” a phrase. Boricua is the indigenous title of Puerto Rico and might solely be used right here by Puerto Ricans. We’ve actually leaned into this concept of values-based tourism. Sure, tourism is ingesting a pina colada on the seaside, however it may be a lot greater than that.
TP: How is the vacation spot positioned when it comes to airlift in 2023?
LC: We lately noticed Frontier Airways launch various new routes. We’re seeing the airways give a vote of confidence to the vacation spot by including important routes from markets that have not been added previously, [plus] markets we have now already serviced however possibly not from these particular airways. So I believe that is an enormous indicator of the success we have seen.
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