How Puerto Rico rebuilt its tourism industry after Hurricane Maria - Business Insider
• Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria in September 2017.
• The storm destroyed buildings, knocked out electricity for months, killed an estimated 2,975 people, and left at least $80 billion in damage.
• The island's tourism industry, which accounts for 6.5% of its GDP, was decimated, with typically jam-packed areas like Old San Juan becoming "ghost towns."
• Since then, Puerto Rico tourism has seen an impressive rebound: 2019 was a record-breaking year, with 5.2 million visitor arrivals and nearly $1 billion spent on hotels and vacation rentals, per the tourism board, Discover Puerto Rico.
• The island's tourism industry recovered four times faster than New Orleans' did after Hurricane Katrina, the tourism board says.
On September 20, 2017, the third-strongest hurricane ever to hit the US hammered the island of Puerto Rico.
Hurricane Maria destroyed homes and businesses, decimated roads, and toppled cell phone towers and power lines, knocking out electricity, water, and phone services. An estimated 2,975 people died, although the official death toll was only recorded as 64 for months. In the aftermath of the storm, 200,000 people — about 6% of the island's 3.5 million population — fled the island, mostly to the mainland US. Electricity wasn't fully restored for almost a year. The total cost of the damage was estimated at $80 billion.
Puerto Rico's tourism industry — which accounts for 6.5% of its GDP, per the tourism board — was devastated. The US territory has been slow to recover from the effects of the ...
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