Foundation for Puerto Rico Teams with Skift Foundation in Visitor Economy Recovery Initiatives

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SAN JUAN – New York-based travel intelligence company Skift’s nonprofit-charity arm, which provides services and grants to organizations and small businesses in the travel and hospitality sectors, has partnered with Foundation for Puerto Rico (FPR).

The local nonprofit helps foster the island’s economic and social development by focusing on the visitor economy and on making Puerto Rico a world-class destination. Its strategic alliance with Skift Foundation is intended to strengthen both’s efforts toward “the long-term recovery of the island’s visitor economy,” Skift co-founder Rafat Ali wrote in an article announcing the collaboration.

“The Skift Foundation has already started working with FPR on research and industry event initiatives to help in knowledge sharing and Skift connections in the travel sector, and is now working on helping on FPR’s ‘Bottom Up Destination Recovery Initiative.’ This is an economic recovery strategy with a sustainable model, supporting communities to become more resilient and resourceful in the creation of tourism attractions and experiences,” Ali explained.

The Skift team, through the Skift Foundation, will be working in Punta Santiago in Humacao in a “community-based recovery program that aims to strengthen local communities building tourism-related small businesses. It will be providing monetary grants and its marketing, branding, design, and strategy expertise to the local businesses,” Skift’s article reads.

Earlier this year, as part of its annual retreat, the Skift team carried out reforestation work in the Humacao Nature Reserve, which Skift described as “an important natural resource for the community and tourism in the region that was severely affected” by Hurricane Maria.

“We are honored that Skift was inspired by our work after their visit to Puerto Rico to
affirm their commitment to social innovation by establishing the Skift Foundation and
grateful that they selected us as their first collaborator. This alliance will allow us to
leverage resources, networks and knowledge of the global travel industry in support of
the work we do together with communities to boost their sustainable economic
development,” Foundation for Puerto Rico’s executive vice president, María Jaunarena, was quoted as saying in Skift’s article.

Ali wrote that the Skift Foundation “is excited to start working with local businesses in tourism-heavy communities in Puerto Rico, and learn as much from it as we hope to help.”

Foundation for Puerto Rico announces post-hurricane results of business support program

Gov tells global tourism industry about Puerto Rico’s potential as a tourism, investment destination


SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló delivered a keynote speech Wednesday during the opening event of the Skift Global Forum, where he presented the island’s post-Hurricane Maria potential for the industry tourism and investment.

“Our goal has always been to create the tools that allow us to boost tourism on the island to new levels. Now we have the opportunity to attract more investment and direct the economic growth that we all want, while showing the world the alternatives of investment, innovation and development of human capital available in Puerto Rico,” the governor said.

“When I was running for office, we saw this as one of the critical opportunities for us to showcase our culture,” he added. “We saw that we have a unique window to differentiate from others and extend the length of stay and have more folks come to Puerto Rico,” Skift reported.

The event in New York is the largest creative forum in the global travel industry and includes more than 1,000 participants from more than 40 countries and 550 companies who will be learning about the latest trends from leaders in aviation, hospitality, technology, online travel, cruising and destination marketing.

Puerto Rico has gained interantional relevance as a result of Hurricane Maria.

“The reconstruction that we are leading in Puerto Rico has meant developing a new way to make our Island the most powerful economy in the Caribbean. Today, there is a unique opportunity to rebuild and each of you can be part of this new Puerto Rico,” Rosselló said. “The Economic Development and Recovery Plan of Puerto Rico submitted to Congress is focused on promoting sustainable economic growth and optimizing the critical infrastructure of the island, among other significant goals. Both travel and hospitality industries worldwide can also be part of the development of a new Puerto Rico.”

The director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Co., Carla Campos, will participate as a guest speaker as well.

The forum in New York continues through Friday and includes the participation of representatives of the tourism industry such as Airbnb, Expedia, Uber, JetBlue, Celebrity Cruises, Marriott International, Delta Air Lines, TripAdvisor, American Airlines Group, and Hyatt Hotels Corp.