Senate proposes $200K budget to create ‘Porta Antillas’
The creation of a fourth tourism region to be known as “Porta Antillas” is seemingly gaining ground in the Senate, which on Tuesday discussed a bill setting aside $200,000 to make it a reality.
“Porta Antillas” would the name given to the central-eastern region comprising the towns of Caguas, San Lorenzo, Juncos, Las Piedras, Gurabo, Humacao, Naguabo, Ceiba, Yabucoa, Maunabo, Loíza, Canóvanas, Río Grande, Luquillo, and Fajardo, as well as the island municipalities of Vieques and Culebra.
During a public hearing Tuesday to analyze Senate Bill 2392 that establishes the new tourism zone, author Sen. Norma Burgos said the proposed funding would come from the Tourism Company’s budget.
The new region would operate similar to “Porta Atlantico” in the north, “Porta del Sol” in the west, and “Porta Caribe” in the south. By banding together, and under the supervision of a board, the towns in each region have pushed economic measures that have created new jobs, new industries and increased local and international tourism activity.
“This way, we decentralize government structures and empower municipalities as agents for regional development,” the bill states. “Through this legislative action we will complete the tourism regionalization plan, which undoubtedly would strengthen the region and the island’s tourism activity.”