Puerto Rico Tourism Co., travel agents report 12% sales increase
SAN JUAN – The executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Co., Carla Campos, and leaders of the entities that group travel agents, said Friday that travel agencies are reporting an excellent year in terms of sales
“After the passage of Hurricane Maria, the tourism industry has resurfaced stronger than before, and now the important thing is to retain the 12 percent increase in sales reported…and maintain that growth through service and the personal touch we offer travelers,” said Manuel Franceschini, president of the Puerto Rican Association of Travel Agencies (APAV by its Spanish acronym).
Travel agencies faced major challenges after the passage of Hurricane Maria. Hugo Real, director of Toursim Co.’s services and tourism division, stressed that, “we did everything possible to make some requirements more flexible, which made it easier for some travel agencies, whose premises were affected, to work from alternate locations, among other simple measures that made a big difference so that today 100 percent of the able travel agencies are operating.”
Both the president and vice president of the American Society of Travel Agents’ Puerto Rico chapter (ASTA), Iván Soler and Ángel Alverio, respectively agreed with Campos, who emphasized the contribution of travel agencies to maintain a healthy number travelers on the air routes that serve Puerto Rico and the cruises that use San Juan as their homeport.
The remarks were given as part of the celebration of Travel Agent Week. During the meeting, Campos delivered a statement on behalf of Gov. Ricardo Rosselló Nevares to the representatives of the three organizations that comprise this sector of the industry.
“We appreciate the commendable work carried out by travel agencies certified by the Tourism Company. They are central in terms of the strength they provide to the industry through their educational service and reliable packages for travelers, which are protected by the oversight processes to which they are submitted…and other requirements they meet to be certified,” Campos said.
The meeting also served to announce that the Tourism Co. will be publishing a list of registered travel agencies on its website, www.prtourism.com, to inform which meet the requirements to provide quality service.
“Likewise, we are working together with the associations to educate their membership on how to report which ones they believe are not legitimate and eradicate the problems that travelers could face. We are also developing a campaign to inform the public about the many advantages that exist when using a legitimate travel agency…whether for pleasure or business, in or outside of Puerto Rico,” the Tourism director said.