Puerto Rico Tourism Industry Lags Rivals, Offers Little Relief From Debt Crisis

Puerto Rico may sport palm trees, pristine beaches and glorious weather but its tourism industry is losing out to rival Caribbean islands - and that is holding the U.S. territory back at a time when its deeply troubled economy most needs a fillip. Hoteliers blame a variety of issues for Puerto Rico lagging in both the growth of visitors and hotel rooms: mandatory staff perks, high construction and electricity costs, as well as plenty of red tape. And those problems may increase as the island's government and the agencies it controls are struggling with a massive debt burden that could lead to default as early as this week.