Puerto Rico tourism hit a new record in 2021, in a mark of the island’s ongoing economic reactivation and recovery from the turmoil of the global pandemic.
According to the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC) — a public agency that regulates and promotes tourism on the island — the first eight months of 2021 saw the highest figures on record for room tax collected during a similar period since 2008.
That included the highest monthly figure on record, with more than $11.1 million collected during July. Prior to this year, the previous monthly highest figure had been $7.06 million collected in July 2017.
Room tax in Puerto Rico is applied to hotel, guesthouse, and other short-term rentals (defined as any rentals lasting less than 90 days), and is applied at a rate of 7% of the cost of the rental.
According to PRTC, the growth in Puerto Rico tourism seen in 2021 has been bolstered by a 24% increase in lodgings, with 4,306 registered on the island as of late-September 2021, compared to 3,471 registered in 2020.
“We can say that we have experienced one of the most fruitful stages in the history of tourism in Puerto Rico,” said Carlos Mercado Santiago, executive director of PRTC, who highlighted the participation of many different sectors, as well as the importance of both local and international tourism to the island’s recovery from the pandemic.
“All of this results in economic development for Puerto Rico,” he said.
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Puerto Rico tourism a strong investment opportunity
Tourism offers a good investment opportunity, with manufacturing, import/export, and real estate also major business opportunities in Puerto Rico.
The island registers considerably higher visitor numbers than many other Caribbean nations, thanks in part to strong cultural and economic connections with the United States, of which Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory.
Puerto Rico tourism also benefits from the fact that Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, which serves capital San Juan, receives direct flights from multiple US cities, Madrid, Frankfurt, and a host of cities around Latin America and the Caribbean.
Puerto Rico has been a US territory since 1898, and its residents have enjoyed US citizenship since 1917. The island has seen strong growth in recent decades, with gross domestic product (GDP) increasing exponentially since 1970.
Today Puerto Rico is one of the most prosperous markets in Latin America and the Caribbean, registering a gross national income (GNI) of $21,740 per capita in 2020. It also enjoys significantly lower rates of violent crime than other popular tourist destinations from the region, including Colombia, Jamaica, and Mexico.
These conditions add up to make Puerto Rico tourism a strong investment prospect, as evidenced by the record-breaking results seen in the sector this year.
The opportunities offered by tourism also feed into a range of other benefits of doing business in Puerto Rico, which also include significant tax breaks, impressive infrastructure, and a prime location for trade.
Biz Latin Hub can assist you in Latin America & the Caribbean
At Biz Latin Hub, our team of experienced corporate support specialists is available to help you enter the Puerto Rican market, whether you are seeking to take advantage of the opportunities on offer in Puerto Rico tourism, or any other sector.
We offer a comprehensive portfolio of back-office solutions, including company formation, accounting & taxation, legal services, and hiring & PEO, meaning that we can be your single point of contact for doing business in Puerto Rico, providing a tailored package of integrated services to suit every need.
With local teams in place around Latin America and the Caribbean, we also specialize in multi-jurisdiction market entry, and offer support in 18 markets around the region.
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