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Dangerous Imposter

Justin Bieber ignites tourism boom for Puerto Rico

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Justin Bieber is already a musical trendsetter, and now, thanks to his summertime smash “Despacito,” Bieber is also apparently a travel tastemaker.

According to an analysis by Hotels.com, web searches for Puerto Rico have increased 45 percent since the release of the song on April 17. The increase likely came thanks to the song’s line, “How they do it down in Puerto Rico.”

“We know that popular culture has a strong influence on our travel decisions,” Taylor L. Cole, travel expert for Hotels.com, said in a statement. “Puerto Rico is the home of singers Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, and it gets a big shout out in their hit song.”

As the Daily Mail noted, the song’s video also shows off some of the Caribbean island’s most beautiful assets. The people of Puerto Rico are even taking advantage of their Bieber tourism bump by offering up new tour operations that include some of the areas featured in the song and video, such as Old San Juan's Club La Factoría.


“Puerto Rico is the true protagonist of this song and this video,” Fonsi, who originally wrote and performed the song, wrote on Instagram after learning about the song’s influence on tourism. “What a joy it is to read this in international media.”

And while Beliebers may be just learning about the magic of Puerto Rico, we here at Travel+Leisure have long known about the island’s charms.

At a little more than a two-hour flight from the continental U.S., Puerto Rico is the perfect getaway for those of us living on the mainland.

The island is home to a colorful culture, tropical forests, sandy beaches, and a world-class dining and nightclub scene. From Old San Juan throwback hotels to new boutique designer experiences like the Condado, Puerto Rico is a great destination even if you don’t listen to Justin Bieber.

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