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WTTC and Puerto Rico Tourism Company Mark World Tourism Day

Travel & Tourism plays a crucial role in providing jobs for young Puerto Ricans

Sector’s energy use intensity is broadly falling, suggesting improvements in efficiency

Total tourist spending in Puerto Rico is forecast to rise by 156% in rea terms by 2032


San Juan, Puerto Rico:  The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) commemorated World Tourism Day in collaboration with the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, highlighting the exceptional growth and commitment of Puerto Rico in promoting sustainable travel.

In a recent report titled "Sustainability in Numbers: Economic, Environmental, and Social Impact for Travel & Tourism in Puerto Rico", unveiled in Puerto Rico by WTTC Director of Sustainability Chris Imbsen, the destination took the lead.

The island stands out as the first in the world to rigorously evaluate the influence of tis Travel & Tourism sector across diverse benchmarks.

This pioneering report is a testament to Puerto Rico's forward-thinking approach in harmonising tourism with sustainability.

Puerto Rico's Travel & Tourism sector has long been the backbone of the island's economy, supporting countless jobs, pumping money into communities, and serving as a significant export through inbound arrivals. With its burgeoning growth, especially post-pandemic rebound, the sector's importance to the Puerto Rican economy is only set to grow.

Chris Imbsen, WTTC's Director of Sustainability, commented “Puerto Rico's commitment to sustainable tourism has not gone unnoticed. Our latest report showcases the incredible strides the island has made to understand the growth of their Travel & Tourism sector so they can take the appropriate measures to ensure it grows sustainably.

“They are creating a balance between offering world-class tourist experiences and conserving its natural beauty. This synergy is a beacon for destinations worldwide.”

To truly grasp the magnitude of Travel & Tourism's impact in Puerto Rico, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, WTTC, and Oxford Economics delved deep into its multifaceted implications, spanning economic, environmental, and social parameters. 

This comprehensive analysis led to the creation of the report, which benchmarks Puerto Rico’s environmental performance juxtaposed against the Caribbean region and the U.S., offering unprecedented insights.

The report forecasts the Puerto Rican Travel & Tourism sector’s greenhouse gas emissions until 2032, presenting two potential scenarios: a rapid transition to renewables and the successful adoption of sustainable aviation fuels. 

Such forecasts are instrumental for the sector to pinpoint opportunities, measure progress, and channel efforts for maximum positive impact.
Carlos Mercado Santiago, Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, added "The Travel & Tourism sector plays a vital role in the socio-economic development of the Island, as evidenced by the historical resurgence we have experienced following the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Aligned with global trends and best practices in the industry, the Government of Puerto Rico maintains a firm commitment to fostering a more conscious approach to preserving our natural resources and tourist attractions. 

“For this reason, we are pleased to be the first destination to present this first-of-its-kind market study, dedicated to sustainability efforts and the environmental impact on the tourism ecosystem.

“This report not only represents our vision for a more eco-efficient future, but also provides us with a solid foundation to continue guiding our actions towards developing and strengthening our Sustainable Tourism programs. 

“We are pleased to have collaborated with the World Travel and Tourism Council and Oxford Economics on this groundbreaking study, which marks an important milestone and will be useful in paving a more sustainable path for tourism in Puerto Rico."

Puerto Rico's Travel & Tourism sector, while having an environmental footprint, is also highly reliant on the pristine environment to attract tourists. 

Recognising the true worth of the island’s natural wonders can guide environmental conservation strategies and economic activities. 

With tourism being paramount for Puerto Rico, nurturing this balance is crucial for the island's ongoing economic success and allure for global investments.

It is the shared aspiration of WTTC and the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, that this trailblazing report will inspire governments globally. It is a call to action to embark on transparent, evidence-based assessments of their own Travel & Tourism sectors, setting a course for a more sustainable, collaborative future.

To see the report please visit the WTTC Research Hub.

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