Distrito T-Mobile to focus on doubling number of international visitors
Two years after kicking off operations, Distrito T-Mobile executives announced some of the achievements of 2022 and initiatives designed to expand the offering at the entertainment complex this year.
In a roundtable with reporters, Distrito T-Mobile General Manager Francisco Mariani said that since its official opening, 3.8 million people have visited the multi-use space, which includes restaurants, offices, a movie theater and the Coca-Cola Music Hall.
The main goal for 2023 is to increase the number of visitors from abroad.
“Since we opened in August 2021, the traffic received by Distrito T-Mobile has mostly been 80% local guests, and 20% international visitors,” Mariani said. “Due to gradual recovery of the travel segment since the pandemic, it was the local public’s loyalty that led us to reach record numbers of visitors. At a time when global mobility is picking up, we will now also focus our efforts on doubling the number of international visitors. In addition, a crucial part of this year’s focus is on renewing our entertainment and dining offerings to strengthen the cultural experience for all our demographic segments.”
The general manager said that in 2022 the entertainment destination exceeded expectations in all segments, and that 2023 began with a “clear path toward its goals.”
In 2023, Distrito T-Mobile’s cultural and entertainment offerings will continue to be key in attracting groups within the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions, or MICE, tourism segment to the Puerto Rico Convention Center District, generating a domino effect for the island’s economic development. Its impact includes the creation of more than 4,000 direct and indirect jobs since the venue’s inauguration, Mariani noted, adding that the workforce continues to grow.
At an administrative level, five new jobs will be created.
“Some [job positions] have been identified already and those employees will start working soon and the others are different job posts that will be created with the construction of the Money Group space and at the multi-concept shop,” Mariani explained.
Events held at Popular Plaza are free of charge including the Bad Bunny concert and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve event, “which generated great exposure for Puerto Rico and for the entertainment venue, with measurements reflecting 3.1 billion impressions,” Mariani stressed.
Distrito T-Mobile sales, marketing and communications Director Nelia Villanueva pointed out that Distrito T-Mobile is composed of different venues.
“The Coca-Cola Music Hall is a venue that has its own events. Today [during the roundtable with reporters] we are focusing on the events held at the Popular Plaza for the general public, which are free of charge,” Villanueva said.
In terms of strategies aimed at supporting the venue’s visibility, Mariani assured that they will be “strengthening strategic alliances with media from abroad and with entities leading the island’s international exposure efforts.”
As the arrival of cruise ships increases, alliances with the island’s destination marketing organization, Discover Puerto Rico; the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, and the Puerto Rico Ports Authority have been developed.
“In addition to joining forces with the organizations that are already highlighting Puerto Rico through several initiatives, we continue to host large corporate tourism events in the segment of groups and conventions, private activities and commercial brand events that have contributed to the economic development of the destination,” Mariani said, adding that a new phase in the development of Distrito T-Mobile kicked off last year with the integration of a large company within the corporate segment, as well as the first multi-concept retail store.
Both projects are under construction and will open this year.
“The new tenant partner, Money Group, is a digital media company that is dedicated to the creation of content, information and tools, and they will soon be announcing their opening date,” he said.
The entertainment venue still has room left for new partners. Mariani added that “entrepreneurs who wish to be part of this distinctive project can submit their proposals for experiences, offices and retail businesses. There are only 5% of spaces available.” Those interested may write to email@example.com, he said.
Meanwhile, Villanueva recalled that since the district’s inauguration, more than 1,800 artists and technicians have been hired at an investment of more than $1.5 million.
“Since our opening, we have developed a variety of events that have become iconic and highlight the unique capabilities of Distrito T-Mobile, such as releases of musical productions of top-notch artists, sporting events, beauty contests, as well as experiences related to the music, art, radio and television industry,” the marketing director said.
She further noted that restaurants such as Lupe Reyes and La Central by Mario Pagán are working on the integration of new dishes and additional culinary experiences.
Villanueva also boasted that the success of the entertainment destination has been recognized by renowned organizations.
“During our first year of operation, we received two of the most prestigious awards in the hospitality and tourism industry with the Travel Weekly Magellan Silver Award and the Gold Medal of the Stella 2022 Best Convention Center Award in the U.S. territories category. Internationally, these awards distinguish excellence in the travel, entertainment and hospitality industry among fierce global competition,” Villanueva said.
Finally, among the events that form part of the 2023 roster are the Chinese New Year celebration, to be held on Feb.5, the Super Bowl Watch Party on Feb. 12 and the Jazz Fest Weekend that is expected to be held June 30.
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