Puerto Rico Paradores Association: Summer occupancy rate rose 38%
ADJUNTAS, Puerto Rico – The of Parador Owners and Puerto Rico Tourism Association reported Monday a summer average occupancy rise of more than 38%.
“This year, the summer vacation period, which starts in mid-May and runs through the first week of August, has been very successful and we registered a much higher occupancy, more guests per room and longer stays than in the high season of summer 2017, in all the paradores of the association,” its president, Jesús Ramos, said in a release Monday.
“Definitely, us paradores have modernized our product and we have become a great vacation option for local and foreign tourists who seek to enjoy the experience of our culture and cuisine. The quantity and diversity of our attractions, along with the variety of restaurants and ‘chinchorros’ [inexpensive food and drink establishments] across the island, naturally makes us the most complete and accessible all-inclusive destination in the Caribbean,” Ramos said.
For Xavier Ramírez, leader of the association’s Marketing Committee, “the strategies of marketing, communications and added value, together with the support and solidarity we have given to the Puerto Rican community have been a determining factor for these results.”
“After Hurricane Maria, we collaborated to mitigate the damage and quickly repair our inns and the communities where we are located. Fortunately, all the paradores had alternative energy and water systems and our mayors did a great job of coordinating the recovery. After we secured access to fuel and communications, we began to receive the response teams that arrived on the island, and later, we supported hundreds of families by providing temporary housing through the FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency] program. Some paradores served as supply collection centers and we offered our facilities for guidance meetings.
“Although there was great demand for our product and an increase in all operating costs, we decided to keep the rates of 2017, to give relief to our people’s pockets. Our solidarity kept us in the minds of the public and their families, who chose to sponsor us during the summer season. Several families have visited us two and three times to take a well-deserved rest in our paradores,” said Ramírez, who is also co-owner and operator of Combate Beach Resort in Cabo Rojo.
“During the three months of summer, the region of El Combate has been very busy. At Combate Beach, we received many families who separated several rooms to enjoy together the beautiful attractions and the 18 beaches we have in our area. We observed an increase in the number of people per room and in the length of their stays. We got tourists from all over the world and Puerto Ricans living abroad,” he added about his parador.
Parador El Buen Café in Hatillo also reported growth in restaurant sales during the summer. “In the stays, we saw an unprecedented increase versus 2017. In addition, there was an increase in the number of visitors who came to our El Buen Café Restaurant, while enjoying the hundreds of attractions in our area,” administrator Francisco Martínez said.
Meanwhile, Parador Boquemar in Cabo Rojo achieved double-digit growth in its occupancy compared with 2017. “This year was very different from the previous three years. Our parador was prepared for the emergency and we were able to recover quickly to provide lodging for many Puerto Rican families. As part of the restoration, we made several improvements to our tourism product, which is well-recognized by the thousands of visitors who arrive in the town of Boquerón. All these factors combined to cause sustained growth,” said Ángel “Cucho” Rodríguez, co-owner and operato.
Parador Villas Sotomayor in Adjuntas experienced similar summer results. “We saw historical growth in occupation, caused in part by families in the temporary housing program and an increase in the flow of local tourists to the [inland] mountain [region]. We also had a substantial growth in our two restaurants, Meson Gastronómico Las Garzas and La Terraza, guided by its gastronomic quality, and the variety of entertainment and events that are usually offered in our parador,” said the association’s head and owner of the mountainside inn.