Photo: Puerto Rico
The number of tourists arriving in Puerto Rico on cruise ships during the first six months of this fiscal year (July-December) increased 35 percent over the same period the year before.
The result was announced this week by the Puerto Rico Ports Authority and the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, which noted that the arrival of this kind of tourism generated close to $17 million.
According to their data, 521,758 tourists visited the U.S. commonwealth by cruise ships between July and December last year, almost 135,000 more people than the 387,051 recorded in the same six-month period of 2012.
These increases are the result of efforts by the island’s authorities to promote visits by cruise ships, improve port facilities and increase tourist attractions.
Puerto Rico aims to bring in 1.5 million visitors by cruise ships during fiscal year 2016-17 to boost the economic contribution of tourism, which overall accounts for close to 6 percent of the U.S. commonwealth’s gross domestic product.
Promoting tourism is vital for Puerto Rico’s economy, which has been in recession for seven years and this week had its debt downgraded to “junk” status by two of the big three ratings agencies: Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s Investors Service.