Justin Bieber leads to 45% rise in tourism to Puerto Rico

  • Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber’s song boasts lyrics about the island
  • It’s very popular music video also prominently features Puerto Rican landmarks
  • Since the song debuted in April, tourist searches have increased more than 45%

Summer’s hit single, Despacito, isn’t just shattering music industry records – it’s also sending travellers flocking to the island of Puerto Rico.

In fact, ever since the song debuted on April 17, web searches for the Caribbean destination have gone up more than 45 per cent.

From its centuries old fortresses to its colourful Spanish-style streets, it should come as no surprise the region is having a major moment.

Tourism spike: The hit song Despacito has led to increased tourist interest in Puerto Rico (pictured)

Tourism spike: The hit song Despacito has led to increased tourist interest in Puerto Rico (pictured)

The Despactio Remix, which features Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber, is nothing short of a global hit.

And listeners do appear to be taking note of one of the song’s most memorable lines: ‘How they do it down in Puerto Rico.’

It probably doesn’t hurt that the track’s music video – which has been viewed over two billion times since it made its debut in January – showcases some of the most beautiful locations the island has to offer.

In fact, according to local reports, tour operators in Puerto Rico are now including some of the areas featured, such as Old San Juan’s Club La Factoría, as part of their tours.

Hometown heroes: Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee were both born on the Caribbean island

Justin Bieber pictured performing last month

Hometown heroes: Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee were both born on the Caribbean island 

Beautiful beaches: Tourist searches about the country have increased by more than 45 per cent

Beautiful beaches: Tourist searches about the country have increased by more than 45 per cent

Of course, this isn’t the first time pop culture has influenced travel trends. 

Game of Thrones fans have been known to explore filming locations everywhere from Northern Ireland to Spain, while New Zealand tapped into the tourism power of the Lord of the Rings franchise long ago.

Still, Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, who were both born in Puerto Rico, are understandably thrilled by all the positive attention their beautiful homestead is getting.

‘Puerto Rico is the true protagonist of this song and this video,’ Fonsi wrote on Instagram after learning of the increase in tourism.

‘What a joy it is to read this in international media.’

Cool colours: Despacito's music video showcases some of the most beautiful places in San Juan (pictured)

Cool colours: Despacito’s music video showcases some of the most beautiful places in San Juan (pictured)

‘Some people consider Puerto Rico America’s 51st state,’ explains Taylor L. Cole, APR, travel export for Hotels.com, the website which first noted the rise in search traffic.

‘It’s a popular vacation spot with an international appeal even though Americans don’t need a US Passport to travel there.

‘We know that popular culture has a strong influence on our travel decisions.’ 


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