In what is deemed a bold move by the Tourism Company, Puerto Rico's equivalent to the Cops of Keystone City, We are now--gasp--trying to attract European tourists.
Now We could look at this as a bad move since the last time We went whole-hog for European visitors, Our natives got killed.
I'm kidding. They were raped, then they were killed.
But that's all water under the bridge, or in Our case, water that washed out the bridge built for 265% actual costs. The bottom line is this:
1) Puerto Rico is no longer the #1 tourist destination in the Caribbean, having been displaced by the Dominican Republic in 2008.
2) The Dominican Republic received a little over 2.4 million European tourists in 2009; We had "about" 200,000, which given the accuracy of El Nuevo Día's future burger flippers masquerading as journalists could mean 2,450.
3) The average--average--European stays two weeks in the Dominican Republic. Two. Weeks. The average European stay in Puerto Rico is called "layover."
Local dingbats affiliated with the tourism industry, like the Puerto Rico Hotel and Tourism Association and the Tourism Company's acephalic "programs" whine that "We can't compete with the Dominican Republic's all-inclusive packages, 70,000+ rooms and cheap labor."
Boo-hoo. Have you crybabies in smelly diapers ever imagined where the D.R. would be if they had the same attitude back in the 1960s and 70s? "We can't compete with Puerto Rico's infrastructure, no-passport access to the U.S. of part of A. and massive marketing efforts." I bet you never heard that from them. And that's why their kicking polvo in Our faces now.
Before I paint My buns with nitric acid, here's three points that the dingbats mishandling Our tourism efforts need to get into their gullets (since We've established that they have no craniums):
1) Tourism is intrinsically a geosocial experience. I made that word up, but it makes sense, so it is now an official word in the English language. One travels to Venice to explore its canals. In Vegas, a traveler gambles and takes in shows. In other words, a tourist visits a place to encounter a location and a set of experiences that are unique. Therefore what We need to focus on is not "price" or "rooms" but "unique experiences." And that, My Brethren, goes far beyond beaches, El Yunque and tacky Chinese gewgaws in Old San Juan.
2) You don't advertise to would-be travelers, you engage them. Where? On the Internet. More than 68% of travelers explore their potential destinations by surfing the Web, and on the Web, We rank somewhere between goat liver recipes and toejam remedies. In short, We are not web-savvy. We--or rather, the whiny headless dingbats--spend Our money on TV ads aimed at folks older than Mount Rushmore and ignore the thousands of active travelers on the Internet that We can reach for pennies a day. Here, try this experiment: do a travel search to Puerto Rico and check out the comments people leave about hotels, services and amenities. Tally up the negatives and positives. Note how many comments are addressed by the owners or tourism-related personnel. Than you'll have your proof on why I call these people "dingbats."
3) Why advertise blindly in Europe when you have 2.4 million Europeans a 25-minute flight away? You mean to tell Me that, if given the chance, some 200,000 of the Europeans spending 2 weeks in the D.R. wouldn't hop over here and spend a day or two doing something geosocial? (See? I told you it was an official word.) If We did that, We could double Our European influx and gain some additional voices in the Old World to talk about Us.
Granted, We'd have to work on Our sorry (oh so very sorry) service skills and on Our sorry (oh so very sorry) language skills, but at least We'd be making a start. Otherwise, We face dropping to #3 when Cuba flings open its doors to rampant capitalism...and it will. You can bet a dingbat's ass on that.
Hell, We already have.
The Jenius Has Spoken.