(San Juan, PR) - The executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC), Carla Campos, recognized travel agents and the importance their work in an activity celebrating Travel Agent Week. During the event, top executives from travel agents guilds agreed their businesses are reporting excellent sales during this year greatly in part to the close partnership between said organizations and PRTC, the agency that incentivizes, regulates and oversees this business sector.
The Government of Puerto Rico celebrates Travel Agent Week reaffirming its public policy to promote socioeconomic development of tourism, commerce and industry businesses. “We are grateful to PRTC-endorsed travel agencies for their remarkable efforts. Their work is a cornerstone of the Tourism industry. These trustworthy industry professionals provide assistance to travelers and comply with all the mandatory processes, regulations, obligatory insurance coverage and other required documentation needed to be certified by the Puerto Rico Tourism Company”, commented PRTC’s executive director, Carla Campos.
Travel agencies faced trying challenges after Hurricane María. PRTC’s support in the months after the hurricane proved invaluable in promoting the suitable conditions for their recovery. Hugo Real, director of the Tourism Services and Oversight Division, remarked, “We did everything possible to provide relax the requirements so business owners whose offices where affected by the hurricane could work from alternate locations, as well as other measures that made a huge difference and enabled travel agencies to work at their 100% capacity”.
“After Hurricane María the tourism industry has recovered and is stronger than ever. It is important to maintain the reported 12% sales increase and continue growing thru the high-quality and personalized customer service travel agents provide”, said Manuel Franceschini, president of APAV. The president of SOME, Rubén Feliciano, thanked the Executive Director of PRTC for fostering synergetic alliances between travel agent organizations, which in turn promote their sustained growth.
Iván Soler, president of ASTA and the organization’s vice-president, Ángel Alverio, concurred with Campos, who emphasized the importance of travel agencies in maintaining a strong level of travelers in flights to Puerto Rico and of cruises using the Port of San Juan as homeport.
During yesterday’s event, the Executive Director presented, on behalf of the governor of Puerto Rico, Honorable Ricardo Rosselló Nevares, the Travel Agent Week Proclamation to the top three executives of the guilds that represent these tourism industry professionals.
At the event PRTC also informed participants it will be publishing a list of endorsed and certified travel agencies at its www.prtourism.com webpage in order to keep the public informed about agencies that comply with all legal requirements and are certified as providing reliable quality service to Puerto Rican travelers. The Executive Director also indicated, “We are currently working alongside travel agent organizations to educate their members about the proper procedures to report agencies they suspect may not be legitimate and therefore eliminate potential problems for travelers. PRTC is also developing a campaign geared toward the general public regarding the advantages of using a legitimate travel agency for any of their travel planning needs, be it business or pleasure, in or outside Puerto Rico”.
From left to right: Hugo Real, Director of the Tourism Services and Overseeing Division of PRTC; Manuel Franceschini, APAV President; Carla Campos, Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company; Ivan Soler, ASTA President; and Rubén Feliciano, SOME President