In February 2017, Foundation for Puerto Rico published a research paper on Destination Management that analyzed the different elements that comprise a destination, and the different governing structures to manage it. Most importantly, the paper made some critical observations about the challenges within each element in Puerto Rico and recommended a management framework to develop the destination. During that time, FPR urged national stakeholders to begin a destination planning exercise using the framework suggested by FPR. As a result of these efforts, several key stakeholders joined a coalition with FPR, to work on a national destination plan for Puerto Rico.
As it relates to the Bottom Up Destination Recovery Initiative, FPR wanted to apply the recommended national framework at a community level. Thus, the FPR program design team adopted concepts from various traditional destination planning models, community-based planning initiatives in Puerto Rico and asset-based development programs around the world. The result was a customized proprietary framework that could work in communities in Puerto Rico. First, FPR managed the co-creation of a local destination plan with the community of Orocovis as a pilot project before moving on to work with the community of Punta Santiago, Humacao.
This Local Destination Management Plan for Punta Santiago conveys a statement of purpose shared and agreed upon by a group of key stakeholders in the community. The Plan seeks to define the ways to develop the destination over a given period. It also describes the roles and concrete actions to be carried out by the local key stakeholders in the short-term to increase tourism activity sustainably, in line with the vision adopted by community residents themselves.