Back in 2019, which now seems long ago, I had the honour of visiting Puerto Rico with over 150 Tourism Cares members. Although our time on the island was brief, the lessons learned from the island’s social enterprises, community organisations and our time on the Centro de Microempresas y Tecnologías Agrícolas Sustentables Yauco (CMTAS, a Puerto Rican community farm), have stuck with me.
From food sovereignty and the importance of agritourism, to the challenges and prioritisation of localising the tourism value chain, Puerto Rico was a brilliant case study on the future of sustainability, particularly in protecting the economy, jobs, community infrastructure, and the environment amidst crisis and uncertainty. It was commendable to see how key the community was, and remains, especially as a central partner in destination strength and advancement, whatever challenges this beautiful island destination faces.
In the latest episode of my In Conversation Series, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Brad Dean, CEO of Discover Puerto Rico. Brad has repeatedly proven himself as a courageous, impactful and inspiring leader through natural disasters and global pandemics alike.
Discover Puerto Rico is a brilliant example for us all in learning how to innovate, communicate, and cooperate with private, government, and non-profits on the island for not only a positive tourism future, but a positive and sustainable island future.