Development of “Nautical Tourism” in Puerto Rico

The Government of Puerto Rico engaged Dornbusch Associates to analyze the Commonwealth’s potential for incentivizing and promoting “nautical tourism” – meaning all boating activity and relative supporting infrastructure and services.

The effort began by evaluating the nautical tourism industry throughout the Caribbean, including especially the areas near Puerto Rico comprising St. Thomas, St. Maarten and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. We prepared conceptual plans based on engineering analyses, and cost-revenue estimates for prospective waterfront facilities. We compared the relative advantages and disadvantages of alternative yacht and charter boat marina sites and landside supporting facilities and services.

We analyzed environmental factors, costs for facility development and types of boating, including mega yacht, uses that included charter operations, long-term berthing arrangements and seasonal mooring arrangements. We identified and evaluated the feasibility of utilizing existing, or developing new, waterfront facilities as well as landside support infrastructure and services necessary to repair and maintain vessels and provide the numerous amenities desired by vessel owners, charterers and crews.

We evaluated the various obstacles and potentials for stimulating nautical tourism in Puerto Rico and quantified the expected economic and financial benefits from nautical tourism activity. We designed public policy strategy, tax incentives and other legislative measures (including regulations) that would induce long-term positive economic impacts for Puerto Rico, balance tax incentive costs with expected tax revenues in favor of the Commonwealth, generate substantial private sector income, while preserving and protecting the Commonwealth’s environmental resources.