Panelists at the Rebook Short Term Rental Conference discuss the economic impact of the industry in Puerto Rico.
The number of short-term rental properties in Puerto Rico has increased by 38% to 25,000, up from 17,000 in 2022, according to numbers released during the Rebook Short Term Rental Conference last weekend in San Juan’s Convention Center.
More than 15 local and international experts at the conference emphasized the sector’s economic and social impact on Puerto Rico’s visitor economy, saying the properties generated $680 million and shored up $1.6 billion in related sectors such as entertainment, gastronomy, transportation and retail, along with 26,000 jobs last year.
An estimated 50,000 rooms (approximately 2 rooms per unit) are available through these rentals, accounting for 70% of the island’s room inventory, according to industry executives.
“The industry continues to grow, and events like Rebook seek to promote best practices through training and global trends,” said René Acosta, co-president of the VIVA Puerto Rico Alliance, an entity that brings together short-term rental property operators in Puerto Rico.
Justin Gilbert, senior vice president of R&R Partners, spoke on the transformative effect of remote work on the travel industry.
“Now trips are longer, more frequent and experience-oriented,” Gilbert, one of the event’s speakers, said about “one of the factors in the growth of the short-term rental industry.”
Discussions also addressed regulatory efforts, with Bill 1557 currently under consideration in the island’s legislative assembly.
“At this time there is no state law, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company oversees the industry through regulations for small inns. Municipally, there are ordinances in Cabo Rojo, San Juan and Culebra that regulate short-term rentals; however, there is no uniformity,” Acosta said.
The experts noted that around 5,910 entities are registered with the Tourism Co. and have a hotelier number, averaging 2.5 units each, totaling 14,775 registered units across Puerto Rico.
Public policy on short-term rentals is anticipated to be implemented this year, they said.
This was the second year of the Rebook Short Term Rentals Conference, which is organized by CUBE Group Events.