“Despacito” is simultaneously the most inescapable song of the summer and … the best marketing gimmick Puerto Rico never asked for?
Travelers, overcome with a desire to know how they do it down in Puerto Rico, are flocking to the Caribbean island thanks to the Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber track. (Spoiler alert: They do it down on a beach, it’s not messy at all and the waves even get into it. ‘Ay bendito!’)
Since the song launched April 17, searches for Puerto Rico are up 45 percent compared to the same time last year, according to an analysis from Hotels.com. The website analyzed travel searches from April 17 to June 17.
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“We know that popular culture has a strong influence on our travel decisions. Puerto Rico is the home of singers Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, and it gets a big shout out in their hit song,” said Taylor L. Cole, travel expert for Hotels.com, in a statement. “Plus, our search data suggests it’s encouraging more people to explore this great destination.”
It also helps that the song has been sitting pretty in the No. 1 spot of the Billboard Hot 100 list for a whopping two months. Puerto Rico, which struggled last year to attract tourism following the spread of the Zika virus, is doing much better for itself this year. The island is featured in the song’s video, with shots of beaches, the neighborhood of La Perla in capital city San Juan, and club “La Factoría” in the Old San Juan.
Video director Carlos Pérez, who is also Puerto Rican, called the video “a love letter to Puerto Rico.” Travelers, it seems, are smitten.