Puerto Rico inns report high occupancy during holiday week
SAN JUAN — Members of the Puerto Rico Parador Owners Association reported Monday high occupancy during Holy Week and said they were prepared for summer as well.
“Since Friday, March 23, and throughout Holy Week we had more than 75 percent occupancy, and 100 percent during the [long] weekend, from Thursday to Sunday,” said Jesús Ramos, president of the association and owner of Parador Villas de Sotomayor in Adjuntas.
He indicated that the results for the association’s lodgings on the coast and in mountain region are a good indicator of local tourism.
“This year, we had several elements that produced additional interest and much-higher occupancy in the paradors. In addition, foreign tourists and Puerto Ricans living off the island have already begun to arrive, and we have observed a renewed interest in supporting domestic tourism and companies of local capital. There is a lot of interest for summer dates,” Ramos stressed.
However, the vice president of the association, Tomás Ramírez, added that there is a garbage-collection problem.
“We recognize there are still some areas we must address in preparation for the upcoming summer high season. The most critical is the collection of solid waste on the beach, and we are working with the Natural and Environmental Resources Department (DNER), the Tourism Company, and the municipality of Cabo Rojo, for the DNER to restore the program it had. Ideally, each person should take what they produce, but we know these cultural changes require time, education and supervision,” he maintained.
In the Xavier Ramírez, general manager of Cabo Rojo’s Combate Beach Resort, said “we received many more visitors than in 2017, and many previous guests, which is an indicator of the quality of our product.”
The vice president of the association attributed much of the week’s success to the work and coordination that the paradors have done with the municipalities and some government agencies.
In the joint release, Ángel Rodríguez, owner of Parador Boquemar in Cabo Rojo, said the town’s 18 beaches welcomed thousands.
“Everyone enjoyed it to the fullest because the coordination of all services was excellent and consistent every day. The state and municipal police handled traffic properly and so many people could easily attend the religious and non-religious activities in the region,” he added.
“In the particular case of Combate and Boquerón, last weekend we visited several businesses and restaurants and they were all filled to capacity,” said Ramírez, who is also the leader of the Committee of United Pro-Combate Business Owners.
“For example,” he said, “the Combate Beach Resort attracts over 18,000 guests annually to Combate. It has been estimated that each year our guests inject over $1.7 million in new money into the economy of our Combate community and other nearby communities, such as Boquerón, Joyuda, Betances and La Parguera.”
Francisco Martínez, operator of Parador El Buen Café in Hatillo said that “in addition to the cost of the stay in the paradors, tourists consume in the restaurants, grocery stores, pharmacies, bakeries, gas stations, and many other small and midsize businesses in the area,” referring to the multiplier effect of tourism in the regional economy is positive for the communities where the paradors are located.