Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla has welcomed the Anthem of the Seas cruise ship to Puerto Rico, marking the beginning of the tourist season on the island, according to a prepared statement.
During his address, Garcia Padilla highlighted the central role of the tourism industry on the economic recovery of the island, thanks to the efforts of his administration, which is expected to receive eight new cruise ships in 2016.
“In the past, tourism contributed to 6% of the Gross National Product of Puerto Rico. Thanks to the strategic plan we have developed and implemented, we can proudly say tourism has contributed to 7.1% of our economy, making it one of the most powerful engines of our economic recovery,” said Garcia Padilla.
In addition, the governor stated that this situation reflects a determined plan of tourism development, which involved the construction of the third port in Puerto Rico, allowing larger cruise ships into the country.
“This would not be happening if we did not invest more than $8 million in constructing the third dock in San Juan and making it into a temporary home for floating mega-hotels of 1,141 feet in length, weighing 168.600 tons and capable of harboring 5,000 guests and 1,300 crew. Many questioned our decision to spend $8 million to extend a dock, however, 11 months ago Quantum answered that question and now we do it again in case someone had doubts,” said the governor. Padilla Garcia’s administration remains committed to expanding the tourism industry through novel initiatives to help develop this sector in Puerto Rico’s economy.
“We hope that between January 1 and April 30, we reach over 240 ships and more than 600,000 cruise passengers. In March we expect the Oasis of the Seas, who shares the honor as the world’s largest cruise ship with Allure of the Seas. Today, a giant cruise ship arrives in a country working to overcome its challenges. A country that has embarked on a journey to prosperity,” said the president.
In 2014, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company surpassed its goal for cruise passengers, reaching a historic number of 1.5 million visitors.