PUERTO RICO'S SUCCESS STORY BECOMES MODEL FOR FUTURE INDUSTRY EFFORTS BY THE FLORIDA-CARIBBEAN CRUISE ASSOCIATION
Collaboration between the destination and cruise industry demonstrate an impressive rebound and the importance of Puerto Rico as a hub in the Caribbean
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Feb. 2, 2018 - The Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC) and the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) today announced the incredible strides the cruise industry has made in Puerto Rico. As a trade association representing the mutual interests of destinations and stakeholders in the Caribbean and Latin America and its Member Lines operating nearly 200 vessels in its partner destinations, the FCCA has built a cooperative relationship to enhance the experience for cruisers visiting Puerto Rico, which was on full display during the destination's comeback after the tragedies of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
"Puerto Rico has made a momentous rebound because of the collaboration between the FCCA, our Member Lines, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company and other government entities," said Michele Paige, president, FCCA. "From relief and repair to multifaceted media initiatives, all parties have worked tirelessly together to bring back tourism sooner than expected and, more importantly, assist the destination and its people in a time of need-serving as a true testament of our partnership and a model for future recovery efforts."
San Juan Harbor resumed homeport operations just two and a half weeks after Hurricane Maria with the sailing of Royal Caribbean International's Adventure of the Seas on October 7, 2017. Since then, over 160,000 homeport passengers have embarked from San Juan. Additionally, over 250,000 cruise passengers have visited San Juan on transit calls since Hurricane Maria. As of today, close to 60 cruise shore excursions are fully operational. These excursions were instrumental in San Juan's ability to renew transit calls in November, proving once again the importance of Puerto Rico as a leading cruising hub in the Caribbean.
As another demonstration of Puerto Rico's status as a premiere cruise destination, it will host the annual FCCA Cruise Conference and Trade Show, the Association's keynote event and the largest cruise conference and trade show in the region, this year from November 5 - 9, the first of four consecutive years.
Puerto Rico's 2017-2018 cruise season will also celebrate the welcome of Royal Caribbean International's Freedom of the Seas for weekly year-round sailings when it replaces Adventure of the Seas on May 12, 2018. With capacity of more than 4,500 passengers, Freedom of the Seas can accommodate 700 more passengers than Adventure of the Seas and will become the largest cruise ship to ever homeport in San Juan-a big reason why current cruise traffic for the 2018-2019 season in San Juan is projected to be a record-breaking 1.7 million passengers, with an economic impact of approximately $250 million.
Now, four months since Hurricane Maria, the PRTC alongside the FCCA are proud to continue making these huge strides, working together to increase cruise visits to the destination and region, which will generate impressive revenue for the economy. With the Island officially Open for Tourism, there is no better time to visit Puerto Rico.
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