The new Bogota-San Juan route that Colombian carrier Avianca began operating earlier this month should boost tourism from Colombia and Brazil to Puerto Rico, a high-level tourism official said.

Avianca decided to resume serving the route because of rising demand in South America for flights to San Juan from both business travelers and tourists, Puerto Rican Tourism Company director Ingrid Rivera told Efe.

Service on the route, which the Colombian carrier had ceased operating more than a decade ago, resumed on July 17.

"The tourist market in the United States is the priority, but we cannot put all our eggs in one basket," Rivera said, adding that previous administrations had given up on South America as a source of tourists.

Puerto Rico's only link to South America had been on Copa airlines via Panama, the tourism official said. EFE