Central America and Caribbean

Puerto Rico’s Local Guest startup looks to diversify tourism for millennials

A startup based in Puerto Rico is looking to give millennials the unique travel experience they have always wanted.

Local Guest was founded in 2016 as a means to encourage millennials to visit a country where the tourism market is dominated by baby boomers in what they called “Experience Tourism.”

The platform is hoping to diversify the tourism market by inspiring young travellers to come to their country and discover that Puerto Rico is much more than sitting on a beach sipping Pina Coladas and partying in Old San Juan.

Founded as a reaction to the growing debt crisis on the island, Local Guest works with municipalities to build new tourism opportunities and create sustainable development. Despite its problems, tourism remains the only sector which remains strong and Local Guest wants to capitalize on this even further.

puerto rico tourism

Carmen Portela, Co-founder of Local Guest

Speaking of this, Co-founder Carmen Portela said in Forbes, “Every morning the local newspapers had headlines about how everything was falling apart. Everything in the news was crisis, crisis, crisis. We realized that no one had tried to use the crisis to create something positive.”

It has been reported that 75% of millennials are looking for travel destinations that offer something different to Koh Phangan, Siem Reap, and Cusco. In the age of Instagram, travellers don’t want to see the same things that everyone else does. They want something new. They want to take a picture that no one else has taken and show it off to the world. Local Guest can give them what they want.

This unique opportunity for both local and foreign travellers offers different categories, so travellers can find whatever they desire. These categories are adventure / nature (Adventure Galore), gastronomy (Foodies Galore), art / culture (Artsy Scene), aquatic (Water Escape) and party / celebrations (Party Vibes).

With its digital platform, Local Guest cleans up the tourist experience and connects users with a host of authentic and unusual experiences.

This is sure to help the local economy. Local hosts that run each part of the experience create their own business which, if Local Guest is as successful as it appears to be, can only lead to their businesses growing and allowing them to offer further employment for other individuals.

“We have set ourselves as a business model to start creating experiences in the municipalities of the Island that are at alarming levels of poverty. Together with the local host, we aim to develop new indigenous tourist experiences that encourage visitor traffic and create jobs,” said co-founder Mónica Pérez.

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