The Puerto Rico Tourism Company has announced tourism traffic for the first quarter of 2011, showing solid gains year-over-year, with flights to the Island, cruise ship visitors and hotel occupancy all up.

 First quarter 2011 hotel occupancy rates were up 4% from 2010, and new upscale resorts have opened during the past 18 months including the W Retreat & Spa in Vieques and the St. Regis in Rio Grande.

Nine airlines are now providing 63 non-stop daily flights to Puerto Rico from 20 U.S. cities, and British Airways has begun a twice-weekly flight from London.

Homeport visitors from cruise ships increased 34% from last year, and Puerto Rico is now served by 16 cruise lines and 43 ships for an average 1.2 million visitors a year.

Puerto Rico officials expect to be up to a 4% increase in total tourism visits this year, the Island’s first increase in five years.