Puerto Rico looks to China

Puerto Rican government and business leaders recently returned from China after meeting with officials there to discuss economic and tourism development opportunities on the island. The Puerto Rican delegation, which included Secretary of State Fernando Bonilla, Economic and Commerce Development Secretary Ricardo Rivera and Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC) Terestella González Denton among others, was met with positive interest from officials looking for investment opportunities in manufacturing, trade, tourism and the export of Puerto Rican products.

Throughout discussions, Puerto Rico was positioned as the top Caribbean destination for Chinese visitors due to its centrality and accessibility to and from the rest of the Caribbean. “Since Puerto Rico has the most flight connections with the rest of the Caribbean, Chinese tourists can visit Puerto Rico and from there fly to other Caribbean destinations,” stated Terestella González Denton, Executive Director of PRTC. “In addition, the Chinese businesses that decide to establish themselves on the island will rely on Puerto Rico’s first rate airports such as Luis Muñoz Mar’n in San Juan, Rafael Hernandez in Aguadilla to the West where much of the island’s manufacturing is located.”

Among other tourism topics discussed was Puerto Rico’s inclusion under the United States’ “Approved Destination Status,” a program developed by the Chinese government to establish an orderly system of travel for its citizens to a destination. Puerto Rico as well as other U.S states like Hawaii and Nevada, will promote the destination through trade shows and other ways that reach the Chinese community,” added González Denton.

In addition to the island’s unique gastronomy and authentic Latin culture, Puerto Rico’s 18 world class golf courses and numerous casinos spread throughout the island were highlighted as activities of particular interest to Chinese tourists.