While New Yorkers have long been visiting Puerto Rico and vice versa, for the first time there is now a formal marketing effort to boost tourism between the two destinations. Announced by the destinations' official marketing organizations, Discover Puerto Rico and NYC & Company, at an event hosted by Broadway star Lin-Manuel Miranda, the City-to-Island Partnership will urge travel between both U.S. destinations over the holiday season and beyond.
"Puerto Rico and New York City share so much in common," said Charles Flateman, board vice chairman of NYC & Company, during the event, which was held in Manhattan's El Museo del Barrio
. "Both are tourism destinations rich in design, in cuisine, culture, innovation and so much more -- and clearly there is a long and special affinity between these two destinations."
The partnership will include an exchange of marketing and advertising assets valued at more than $300,000 over a three-month period, beginning Nov. 19, 2018. Select billboards will be placed throughout San Juan, Puerto Rico, with the tagline "Famous Original, New York City. Always here for you," in English and Spanish, while Puerto Rico will promote its offerings on bus stop shelters and LinkNYC screens throughout New York City's five boroughs with the tagline "We're Ready to Celebrate."
The partnership, aimed at meetings and business events as well as individual leisure travelers, is rolling out as Discover Puerto Rico emphasizes that the destination has significantly recovered from the devastation of last year's hurricane season. Discover Puerto Rico CEO Brad Dean said they were, "not just simply open for business, but we are eager to welcome visitors back to the island" and that "we hope New Yorkers will take this opportunity to help accelerate the economic recovery.
The campaign is rolling out in time for the holiday season in both destinations, whether the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in New York or the Three Kings Day in Puerto Rico. But Dean emphasized that in addition to the 132 hotels and many other offerings already available to visitors, this winter will see the opening of four more historic properties: Caribe Hilton; El San Juan Hotel, Curio Collection; Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve; and the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort. It will also see the Puerto Rico engagement of the Broadway smash Hamilton, running Jan. 8-27, 2019, in which Miranda will reprise his role as Alexander Hamilton for a three-week run at the University of Puerto Rico's main campus in San Juan.
"Nothing is better for your soul than to go visit Puerto Rico," said Miranda, in his remarks emphasizing his own personal connection to the island, going there every summer to visit his grandparents and having his grandparents come to Yankee games in New York City. "This relationship between New York and Puerto Rico is not just a decade. It is a lifelong, generations-long thing and it is so wonderful to ratify that and declare Puerto Rico is open for business."