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New Year’s Rockin’ Eve event to generate $10M in visibility for Puerto Rico

In the wake of the backlash to the announcement that Puerto Rico will be one of the countdown locations for this year’s “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2022,” the Puerto Rico Tourism Co. defended the move by saying that hosting the event will generate $10 million in visibility worldwide.

“After the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it represents an excellent opportunity to put Puerto Rico on the map as a world-class tourist destination and motivate the interest of tourists to choose the island as their destination to vacation in the 2022,” said Imaris Arocho, chief sales and marketing officer for the agency.

The economic impact projections point to an injection into the local economy estimated at $2.7 million in consumer spending and $122,850 in tax collections per room, product of some 1,300 hotel rooms that will be reserved in the Convention District Authority and nearby areas, she said.

The event will take place at the T-Mobile District at the Convention District Authority.

The government is also factoring in the added value of the coverage in traditional media and social networks that the global transmission will generate, estimated at some $10 million, “which contributes significantly to the promotion and marketing efforts that are carried out to position Puerto Rico as the ideal destination to visit during any time of the year,” Arocho said.

Last week, Popular Democratic Party Rep. Angel Matos issued a release seemingly echoing what Puerto Rico residents had been voicing on social media, that the $3.6 million investment is “wasteful.”

“I recognize that the District area is the jewel in the crown when it comes to entertainment and hospitality. But this expense of $3.6 million, which will not be paid 100% with federal funds, will end up being the most expensive firecracker in modern history,” said Matos.

When making the announcement, the Puerto Rico Convention District Authority said it will be funding this live event production and New Year’s Eve celebration through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), designed to facilitate the recovery process from the effects that COVID-19 has had on the economy.

Matos said the celebration is seen by “barely 15 million viewers. It’s an outdated business model and will not bring a return or benefit to the island.”

On social media, residents of Puerto Rico were saying that investing $3.6 million in the event was a mistake, when considering that there are still people living under blue tarps four years after Hurricane María tore the roofs off their homes.

In a statement, the Department of Economic Development and Commerce said the exposure to “millions of eyes will directly impact tourism and will spur economic development.”

“Being part of an event like this helps us reach a wider audience that can now consider Puerto Rico as a destination to vacation or develop their businesses. Drawing their eyes to the island and capturing the audience’s attention has a multiplier effect for economic development,” the agency stated.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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