The Spanish Confederation of Tourism Press and Writers, or Fepet, chose this western Puerto Rican city as the site for its annual conference.

"The holding of this assembly here is a step forward for the efforts that Mayagüez is making to push Porta del Sol tourism," the manager of the municipal Office of Tourist Development, Nelson Albino, told Efe on Wednesday.

Mayagüez has been working for months to increase tourism via participating in different tourism fairs in Europe, Albino said.

Now, it's been selected to host the annual meeting of Fepet, an opportunity that occurred after its participated in the 8th International Euroal Fair in Malaga, Spain, where Mayagüez was recognized as the Outstanding Tourist City of 2013.

During the conference, the director general of Spain's Tourism Quality Institute, Fernando Fraile, offered a talk about "certified quality" as an "essential element for the future of tourism."

Along with activities related to the meeting, participants are having the opportunity to get to know the attractions of Mayagüez first-hand with Mayor Jose Guillermo Rodriguez acting as tour guide.

"This extraordinary meeting is the result of the presence of our city at international events that have projected Mayagüez and Porta del Sol an emerging tourist destination capable of satisfying the expectations of the most demanding tourists," the mayor said on Wednesday.

Attending the event are about 50 reporters and tourism writers who live or work in Spain.

Ninety percent of the tourists Puerto Rico welcomes come from the United States, followed distantly by Canadians, Mexicans and Central Americans. Although the number of Spaniards who come to the island is smaller than all those other groups, Spain is the country that sends the most tourists from Europe to Puerto Rico.

Thus, the announcement that direct flights between San Juan and Madrid will resume in May was enthusiastically hailed. EFE