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Puerto Rico’s Tourism Budget Greater Than That Of Any U.S. State

by Evelyn Guadalupe-Fajardo

April 6, 2000
Copyright © 2000 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

Although the Travel Industry Association of America’s (TIA) survey found Hawaii, Illinois, and Florida having the heftiest stateside travel and tourism budgets, these are well below Puerto Rico’s budget.

The TIA’s 1999-2000 Survey of U.S. State and Territory Tourism Offices includes responses from all 50 states and the Northern Mariana Islands. However, it does not include Puerto Rico or U.S. Virgin Islands.

According to survey, Hawaii is the leader in tourism office spending with a $60 million budget, Illinois ranks second with a budget of $55.5 million, and Florida rounds out the top three with $54.3 million.

However, their expenditures are not even close to Puerto Rico’s $81.8 million tourism budget for 1999-2000, and much less its 2000-2001 budget of $82.3 million

The next two Caribbean destinations with regard to tourism budgets are Bahamas with $53.9 million and Bermuda with $33.2 million, according to 1998-1999 figures from the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO).

"States intrinsically understand the value of growing their travel and tourism products. For many, the travel industry is their first, second, or third largest employer, and a major source of new jobs," said William S. Norman, president and CEO of the Travel Industry Association. "The states are challenged by fierce competition with one another--not to mention other countries and other discretionary activities--for visitors’ dollars."

A considerable amount of each state’s tourism office budget is allocated for advertising purposes, according to the TIA survey. Illinois plans to spend the most on domestic advertising, budgeting $11.7 million for 1999-2000, followed by Florida ($11.4 million) and Texas ($11 million).

The Puerto Rico Tourism Co. allocated $25.7 million for advertising in fiscal 1999-2000, compared to $24.4 million for fiscal 1998-99. The advertising budget grew, while the total promotional budget decreased slightly, from $39.9 million to $39.2 million.

The total U.S. domestic advertising budget is $159 million, about 15% higher than 1999-2000, an average of $3.4 million.

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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