WHAT IS VISITOR ECONOMY?
The term tourism is common knowledge, as it is also known that in Puerto Rico it is a sector that has maintained a constant growth pattern even during the last years of recession. The Visitor Economy is a concept much broader than tourism. The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) defines it as any direct, indirect, and induced economic activity resulting from visitors interactions with their destination. This activity includes direct consumption of goods and services paid by people who visit a destination, activity generated indirectly from supply chains and services to the industry, construction, etc., and additional induced activity from what people who work, directly or indirectly, serving visitors spend in the local economy.
In other words, when the number of visitors increases, not only does their direct consumption increase (in hotels, restaurants, transportation, attractions, etc.), but the economic benefit of businesses and providers supporting the tourism industry throughout the entire supply chain such as food, products, maintenance services, equipment, fuel, general services, etc. also increases. Similarly, the economic activity generated by all the employees working in the industry, directly or indirectly, increases when they spend earned money back into the economy by acquiring goods and services.
The economic activity generated by the visitor economy contributes to many different sectors of the economy, beyond tourism. Its impact has a multiplying effect, with a large scale potential, prompted by the visitor, that is distributed throughout the en re economy, and thus supports the creation of jobs, infrastructure development, and community development. It also offers an important platform for individuals, family groups, small businesses, and even communities; while embarking on different business activities such as cuisine, technology, lodging, etc.—located in different regions of the island, and implemented according to an economic strategy that creates a large ecosystem.
When analyzing the visitor economy’s ecosystem, we identified public and private organizations, and the individuals who play a key role in bringing about changes and defining strategies. We also identified those who interact with visitors on a daily basis, as well as those who offer services or products that make it possible for the visitor to enjoy our assets.
WHY VISITOR ECONOMY?
FOUNDATION FOR PUERTO RICO
Our organization seeks to discover, link, unleash the island’s full potential as an active participants in the world economy. We dream of benefitting from a prosperous Puerto Rico; an island able to harness its potential by maximizing its talent, creativity, tenacity, commitment, and the passion of its people. Our mission is to transform Puerto Rico into a world destination, encouraging sustainable strategies for social and economic development. At the Foundation, we believe that a strong Visitor Economy is the most precise strategy for the short term development of Puerto Rico.
The Foundation for Puerto Rico has decided to focus our economic efforts in promoting our island as a destination for the world by boosting the expansion of the visitor economy due to its short-term economic impact. Properly executed, this development offers important benefits beyond economic impact. The resources spent by visitors in our economy help maintain and strengthen our physical infrastructure, as well as the government and private sector’s essential services affected by recession. This favorably influences the quality of life for all of us residing on the island, including if one considers the loss of human capital as a result of emigration. Due to a positive experience during their visit, each visitor becomes an ambassador of Puerto Rico, restoring and strengthening our image to the world, favoring all dimensions of our economy. Giving priority to making Puerto Rico a desired destination gives us more visibility before the world in all our strategies and negotiations. At Foundation for Puerto Rico, we are convinced that implementing this strategy as a spear-head for our economic development will produce more immediate and accessible economic benefits.
Since 2016 in order to disseminate its vision around the importance of the visitor economy for Puerto Rico, the Foundation crafted a strategy using the following tactics: intermediating knowledge with research and analytics; engaging with different stakeholders and advocating by creating awareness and appreciation of the visitor economy.