At a press conference during the 2018 Caribbean Marketplace
, the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association
(FCCA) announced that its
FCCA Cruise Conference and Trade Show -- the association's keynote event and the largest cruise conference and trade show in the region -- will be held in Puerto Rico this year, the first of four consecutive years it will be held on the island. This year's event will take place from Nov. 5-7.
"Puerto Rico has made a momentous rebound because of the collaboration between the FCCA, our Member Lines, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company
(PRTC) and other government entities," said Michele Paige, president of FCCA. "From relief and repair to multifaceted media initiatives, all parties have worked tirelessly together to bring back tourism sooner than expected and, more importantly, assist the destination and its people in a time of need -- serving as a true testament of our partnership and a model for future recovery efforts."
"We have been in direct communication with our FCCA partners since day one, who have shown great commitment to Puerto Rico and proven the industry's resiliency," said Carla Campos, acting executive director of the PRTC. "Our cruise industry partners became strong allies in the implementation of our Destination Recovery Plan, a comprehensive strategy designed to secure a promising comeback for Puerto Rico."
San Juan Harbor resumed homeport operations just two and a half weeks after Hurricane Maria with the sailing of Royal Caribbean International's Adventure of the Seas on October 7, 2017. Since then, over 160,000 homeport passengers have embarked from San Juan. Additionally, over 250,000 cruise passengers have visited San Juan on transit calls since Hurricane Maria. As of today, close to 60 cruise-shore excursions are fully operational. These excursions have been instrumental in San Juan's ability to renew transit calls in November, proving once again the importance of Puerto Rico as a leading cruising hub in the Caribbean.
"Puerto Rico is a key hub for cruise activity for the entire eastern region of the Caribbean and as such will play a huge role in getting tourism back into the region," said Frederico Gonzalez Denton, associate vice president of government relations for Latin America, Caribbean & South Florida for Royal Caribbean Cruises