Civitas is helping in Puerto Rico recovery – Bringing tourists back to Puerto Rico is a top priority.

John Lambeth, President & CEO of Civitas, spoke today to over one hundred Puerto Rico elected officials and tourism leaders about the importance of travel and tourism and strategies for reinvigorating Puerto Rico’s travel industry. Mr. Lambeth, based in Sacramento, has worked with over one hundred destinations around the world on developing stable funding for tourism promotion. Puerto Rico’s tourism industry provides thousands of jobs to the island residents and is critical to the health of the economy. With their tourism industry first hit by the Zika virus, and then suffering tremendous devastation after Hurricane Maria, a new initiative is vital for the regrowth of the economy. The leaders agreed that they would make bringing back the tourism industry one of their top priorities.

“Recent advancements in major tourism infrastructure, like our main airport fully operational with back to normal schedules and operational cruise ports and hotels, show a steady pace on our rebuilding path.” Said Jose Izquierdo, Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company. “We look forward to getting back on our feet in the hopes of welcoming visitors to the Island in the weeks ahead. We are confident that with the continuous support of our industry partners, we can build a stronger Puerto Rico.”

Mr. Lambeth joined Paul Ouimet, Managing Director of Destination Next, Destinations International; and Peter Yesawich, Vice Chairman Emeritus MMGY in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico welcomes 5 million passengers by air and almost 1.2 million cruise passengers per year. These visitors spend close to $4 billion, creating jobs for more than 68,000 people. The tourism industry represents 8 percent of this U.S. territory’s economy. While small, the sector has steady growth, while other industries have shrunk during a 10 –year recession.

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