Pushing Toward Prosperity
Despite many trials on the road to recovery, there have been glimmers of hope and warmth for the island. Baseball, arguably a top export of the island, has been a source of joy for Puerto Rican natives and an easy way to lean in with its mainland.
In April, Puerto Rico hosted a series between Major League Baseball’s Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians that fell in line with another islandwide power grid failure. That didn’t stop the fans from sitting through five hours and 16 innings to see the Twins come out on top by one run to cap a thrilling event.
Ushering in this hopeful new era for Puerto Rico, Dean has already announced a few new key hires.
Alongside Pedrosa as CFO, Leah Chandler, previously chief marketing officer at Branson (Missouri) CVB, has been named the DMO’s CMO, and industry veteran Ed Carey has been appointed chief sales officer.
Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello acknowledged, “We have been working tirelessly to show the world we are open for tourism and business, and the MLB celebration will play a significant role in doing so.”
Baseball, “America’s pastime,” is a powerful force in Puerto Rico as multiple Puerto Rican-born players have lobbied for their homeland in
Their efforts have rallied across industries and into pop culture with icons like Lin-Manuel Miranda advocating for Puerto Rico’s rebuild onstage during this year’s Academy Award telecast. In July, the “Hamilton” mastermind helped form an arts fund for the island to be known as the Flamboyan Arts Fund. The hit show is coming to Puerto Rico in January 2019 for a limited run. Miranda will reprise the title role for the first time in two years, and has said the show will donate its profits to the fund.
With numerous island offerings, luxurious accommodations, and rich history and culture, Puerto Rico is an easy sell—pending good weather.
As it faces the pressure to make over its public perception and rebuild its brand and notoriety, many people will be looking to book their stay when they think the coast is clear. Judging by the influx of travelers who have already made their way back to the island, Puerto Rico appears to be on track.
A springtime FAM trip made a lasting impression on press and planners across all industry sectors. “Meet Puerto Rico, the hotels and the DMCs did a stellar job of showcasing the island and all that is available,” says Sarah Williams, senior sourcing specialist at BCD Meetings & Events, who attended the FAM trip.“By this time next year, the island will look like a bright, shiny new penny, with all the hotel renovations completed. I hope 2019 will be its best year yet.”