Puerto Rico is bidding to secure a larger slice of the UK’s Caribbean travel market over the next 12 months with a $1 billion in hotel developments set to deliver 15,000 bed spaces on the island during 2012.
With over 20 hotel projects being developed, Puerto Rico governor Luis Fortuño believes the island will provide an attractive proposition for holidaymakers that are keen to take advantage of the wide selection of luxury and mid-range hotels available.
“This is a very positive situation for Puerto Rico, which is served by a direct BA flight from Gatwick and is now able to offer a first-class accommodation selection to the UK market,” he said.
“Since last year alone, we have seen the opening of such outstanding properties as the St Regis and W Vieques, and we are not resting on our laurels as major hotels look to introduce new properties and upgrade existing assets across the island.”
The hotel upgrades will include hotels such as the San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, the Condado Vanderbilt, the Hilton Ponce Golf & Casino Resort, the Ramada Ponce Hotel and the Caribe Hilton also receiving substantial facelifts and renovations.
New hotels include the Ritz-Carlton Reserve Dorado Beach Resort & Spa, set to open in late 2012 in the former setting of the renowned Laurance Rockefeller property in Dorado Beach.
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts will roll-out its brand in Puerto Rico in 2013 when it opens a 500-room property on the site of the former Hyatt Regency Cerromar, also in Dorado.
Mario González Lafuente, Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, is convinced that investment in the hotel industry, coupled with the close working partnership the island has with British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holiday Cruises, will ensure that the UK market is well served.
“We are working to put Puerto Rico in the UK holidaymaker’s wishlist, and to this end, we have made considerable inroads with regular direct service from both British Airways and Virgin, the later in collaboration with Jet Blue.
“We are currently working on dynamic collaborative efforts to maximise promotion and awareness through key marketing channels,” he concluded.