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Puerto Rico Tourism Hits Record in 2021


Puerto Rico tourism hit a new record in 2021, in a mark of the island’s ongoing economic reactivation and recovery from the turmoil of the global pandemic.

A photo of a beach in Puerto Rico, where tourism broke a new record in 2021
Tourism in Puerto Rico hit a new record in 2021

According to the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC) — a public agency that regulates and promotes tourism on the island — the first eight months of 2021 saw the highest figures on record for room tax collected during a similar period since 2008.

With $11.1 million collected during July, this was the highest monthly figure in history. The previous highest monthly figure was $7.06million in July 2017. 

SEE ALSO: Company Formation in Puerto Rico: a 5-Step Guide

Room tax in Puerto Rico is applied to hotel, guesthouse, and other short-term rentals (defined as any rentals lasting less than 90 days), and is applied at a rate of 7% of the cost of the rental.

According to PRTC the 24% increase in lodgings has fueled the growth of Puerto Rico tourism in 2021. As of late-September 2021 there were 4,306 registered hotels on the island, compared to the 3,471 in 2020.

“We can say that we have experienced one of the most fruitful stages in the history of tourism in Puerto Rico,” said Carlos Mercado Santiago, executive director of PRTC, who highlighted the participation of many different sectors, as well as the importance of both local and international tourism to the island’s recovery from the pandemic.

“All of this results in economic development for Puerto Rico,” he said. 

Puerto Rico tourism a strong investment opportunity

Tourism offers a good investment opportunity, with manufacturing, import/export, and real estate also major business opportunities in Puerto Rico.

The island has a significantly higher number of visitors than other Caribbean nations. This is due in part to the strong cultural and financial connections that it has with the United States. Puerto Rico is an independent territory. 

Puerto Rico tourism also benefits from the fact that Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, which serves capital San Juan, receives direct flights from multiple US cities, Madrid, Frankfurt, and a host of cities around Latin America and the Caribbean. 

Puerto Rico has been an American territory since 1898. The US citizenship of its residents dates back to 1917. The island has seen strong growth in recent decades, with gross domestic product (GDP) increasing exponentially since 1970.

Today Puerto Rico is one of the most prosperous markets in Latin America and the Caribbean, registering a gross national income (GNI) of $21,740 per capita in 2020. It also enjoys significantly lower rates of violent crime than other popular tourist destinations from the region, including Colombia, Jamaica, and Mexico.

These conditions make Puerto Rico tourism an attractive investment option, as demonstrated by the record-breaking performance in the sector this fiscal year. 

The opportunities offered by tourism also feed into a range of other benefits of doing business in Puerto Rico, which also include significant tax breaks, impressive infrastructure, and a prime location for trade.

A snapshot of the market in Puerto Rico

Biz Latin Hub can assist you in Latin America & the Caribbean

At Biz Latin Hub, our team of experienced corporate support specialists is available to help you enter the Puerto Rican market, whether you are seeking to take advantage of the opportunities on offer in Puerto Rico tourism, or any other sector.

We offer a comprehensive portfolio of back-office solutions, including company formation, accounting & taxation, legal services, and hiring & PEO, meaning that we can be your single point of contact for doing business in Puerto Rico, providing a tailored package of integrated services to suit every need.

We have local teams throughout Latin America and the Caribbean and specialize in multi-jurisdictional market entry. We also offer support in 18 markets in the region.

Contact us now To discuss how we can help your business,

Or learn more about our team and expert authors.

Key services offered by BLH including legal services, accounting & taxation, hiring & PEO, due diligence, tax advisory, and visa processing
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