. Puerto Rico to Launch New Destination Marketing Organization in 2018 | Meetings & Conventions

Puerto Rico to Launch New Destination Marketing Organization in 2018

Milton Segarra of Meet Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico's Gov. Ricardo Rosselló has signed off on a bill that will create a new destination marketing organization to promote tourism and meetings on the island. The new entity is slated to be in place by July 2018.

Via the measure, Meet Puerto Rico -- the DMO that currently works to bring meetings, conventions and incentives to the destination -- and the leisure tourism-focused Puerto Rico Tourism Co. will merge most functions, with the latter continuing to market to the local Puerto Rico tourism market only.

The new organization will be overseen by 13 board members. An anticipated $25 million in funding will be collected via room taxes, plus up to $5 million additional matching funds from the government, based on the DMO's abilities to raise private funds.

The role of the new DMO, which had not been named at press time, will be to develop the destination's brand, promote Puerto Rico, attract visitors and increase the island's worldwide exposure. "We fully support this move and feel it is completely necessary," Meet Puerto Rico's president and CEO Milton Segarra told M&C in an exclusive interview. "For almost three decades, Puerto Rico has been suffering from different messaging from the two groups. Now it will be one message, one brand."