Puerto Rico will bid farewell to the last week of 2012 with its hotel occupancy rate at close to 100 percent, in a year when the sector saw an improvement over 2011 in both occupancy and price per room.

The president of the Puerto Rico Hotel and Tourism Association, Clarisa Jimenez, told Efe on Friday that a survey among her group's members shows hotels almost full to capacity.

Jimenez said it is normal as a New Year approaches for Puerto Rico to welcome a large number of tourists, especially Americans, and noted that the hotels that are currently full tend to be in metropolitan San Juan, while outside the capital that is not so often the case.

"There has been an increase (in the occupancy rate) compared with last year," Clarisa said, adding that the trend in recent years for room prices to decline has apparently turned around.

Figures from the Puerto Rico tourism agency for the first 10 months of 2012 put the Caribbean island's hotel occupancy rate at 76.1 percent, with a spike in July to 86.7 percent.

In that same period in 2011, occupancy was at 73.7 percent.

Jimenez said that 2012 can be considered an altogether positive year, since it put an end to the trend of constantly falling room prices as seen over the past few years.

Every year Puerto Rico receives close to 1.5 million tourists, not counting those on cruises who come to the island for one-day stopovers and who raise the number to close to 4 million. EFE