Tourism in Puerto Rico

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Tourism in Puerto Rico attracted 4.2 million visitors in 2013 and 4 million visitors in 2011, a notable increase over 2010 at 3.68 million, tourism has been a money revenue industry for Puerto Rico for a number of decades given it is host to diverse natural wonders, cultural and historical buildings, concerts and sporting events. The fact that visitors from the United States do not need a passport to enter Puerto Rico attracts a large number of tourists from the mainland United States each year. Other groups of tourists that visit Puerto Rico in significant numbers include French, German, Spaniards, Canadians, Mexicans, Venezuelan, Brazilians and Asian tourists.

The inauguration of the Condado Vanderbilt Hotel on 16 October 1919 marked the beginning of upscale tourism in Puerto Rico.[1]

Tourism growth[edit]

The tourism industry is expected to moderate levels of growth in 2014, driven primarily by the introduction of new cruise lines and airfare activity and the development of new hotels on the island. Nonstop flights to Puerto Rico from Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Bogota, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, Houston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and New York are currently available. New direct routes from Europe and Latin America are in the works.


Cuba and Puerto Rico have always been indirectly competing in the Caribbean for top tourist destination. U.S. relations with Cuba has changed over the years. Should the U.S. lift travel bans to Cuba, Puerto Rico's tourism industry could suffer.[2]

Puerto Rico also competes with the Dominican Republic, Aruba, Jamaica and Florida.[2]

Tourists going to Saint Barthélemy catch a connecting flight from Puerto Rico.[3]

Marketing campaigns[edit]

La Perla, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The Puerto Rican tourism board spent $1 million in 2002, featuring celebrities, to advertise the tourism to Puerto Rico.[4] In 2017, Despacito, a wildly popular song by two Puerto Rican artists caused a spike in tourism to Puerto Rico, especially to an area of San Juan called La Perla, featured in the song's video.[5]



As of 2015, Puerto Rico had 19 casinos, mainly located in San Juan.[6]

Located on the northwestern part of the island are Aguadilla, where the old Ramey Air Force Base is located; Arecibo, famous for its observatory and Rincón favored for its surf.

Bayamón has a Science Park. Cabo Rojo is famous for its beautiful beaches. Cataño has the Bacardi factory, the world's largest rum distillery.

Fajardo has the Fajardo Lighthouse and a luminicent bay, Las Croabas fishing village, the Paso Fino horse national competition ring, and the Seven Seas beach. On the northeastern side, beaches in Luquillo include Balneario La Monserrate, Playa Azul, La Pared, and La Selva - the last two, sandy bottom surf spots where leatherback turtles often nest.

In the southwest are Mayagüez, home of the Dr. Juan A. Rivero Zoo and the local beer, Medalla brewery; and Ponce with its 19th century historic district. There are over 1,046 restored buildings, plus the world-renowned Museo de Arte de Ponce, the imposing Castillo Serrallés, the nostalgic Hacienda Buena Vista coffee plantation, and its whimsical Parque de Bombas firehouse in Ponce.

San Juan has Old San Juan, with its cobble-stone streets and small alleys, the Puerto Rican Museum of Art, and the El Morro Castle, an old fortress. Near San Juan is El Yunque National Forest, the only tropical rain forest in the U.S. with 30,000 acres- a place to hike and see waterfalls. [7]

Trujillo Alto is home to Lake Carraizo Dam.

Two smaller Puerto Rican islands are Culebra island, with its solitary beaches such as Flamenco Beach is another popular destination spot; and Vieques with many beaches, two Spanish castles and lighthouses, eye-catching mountains and sought-after marine reefs.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Flores, Ronald. "New Hotels on the Horizon". (February/March 2009) ¡Qué Pasa!. Puerto Rico Tourism Company. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
  2. ^ a b DiNapoli, Jessica (27 July 2015). "Puerto Rico tourism industry lags rivals, offers little relief from debt crisis". Reuters. Archived from the original on 2 March 2017. 
  3. ^ Villa-Clarke, Angelina (29 July 2017). "Why This Hidden Gem In St Barts Is Redefining How To Stay In The Caribbean". Forbes. Archived from the original on 30 July 2017. 
  4. ^ David Bowen; Jackie Clarke (2009). Contemporary Tourist Behaviour: Yourself and Others and Tourists. CABI. pp. 174–. ISBN 978-1-84593-520-7. 
  5. ^ Marcor, Leila (31 July 2017). "Tourists seeking Despacito" discover Puerto Rico's La Perla". Yahoo. 
  6. ^ William N. Thompson Ph.D. (10 February 2015). Gambling in America: An Encyclopedia of History, Issues, and Society, 2nd Edition. ABC-CLIO. pp. 340–. ISBN 978-1-61069-980-8. 
  7. ^ Vazquez, Henley (11 September 2014). "Enchanted Isle: Puerto Rico". National Geographic. Archived from the original on 3 July 2017. 


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