Puerto Rico’s tourism and business offer will have a special place with the opening of a new interactive space at the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico office in Manhattan, Economic Development and Commerce officials announced Tuesday.
“This space, with its vitality and location, has an enormous potential to help strengthen relations and productive bonds between Puerto Rico and other countries,” said EDC Secretary Alberto Bacó.
“It will contribute to deliver our message that Puerto Rico is the ideal destiny to obtain the best business, tourism, investment and entertainment opportunities,” he said. “New York is one of the world’s most influential financial centers and one of the most visited cities in the planet, which creates an exponential exposure to our trademark.”
The space is a pop-up store concept located on 140W and 51 Street, on the first floor of New York’s Commonwealth of Puerto Rico office. It has a video wall to show promotional videos for Puerto Rico and will also serve as a display area for the local entrepreneurs to exhibit their products and services.
“It will help promote the enterprises and projects of many entrepreneurs who are forming and growing in Puerto Rico, in a place with great international exposition,” said Bacó.
Warren James, an architect who is part of the Puerto Rican diaspora designed the storefront, while La Factoría in Santurce manufactured the furniture, said Mara Liz Meinhofer, director of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Office in New York City.
“The employees who will work at the storefront, recently relocated in New York, are being recruited by a Puerto Rican enterprise. Everything has been coordinated with the intention to provide job opportunities to our labor force,” she said.
The first exhibition, “Destination Weddings,” is dedicated to promote the island as a perfect place to celebrate weddings in different spots in Puerto Rico. After this exhibition, which will last until Dec. 19, Chocolate Cortés will be showing its products and offering hot chocolate to visitors. New exhibitions and events will take place during the next year, officials said.
Ingrid Rivera-Rocafort, executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Co., said the first exhibition was created in collaboration with wedding planners, decorators, fashion designers and fine pastry confectioners.
“The ‘Destination Weddings’ niche is a major opportunity for the island’s economic development. It activates and ties numerous industries that merge in a unique way to make reality a memorable event, such as wedding planners, the hotel industry, designers, photographers, videographers, musicians, chefs, hair and makeup artists, among many other contributors,” she said.
“Promoting Puerto Rico in New York as an ideal destination to get married makes great sense, considering that almost 25 percent of our non-resident tourist registrations originate from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut,” Rivera-Rocafort added.
The Puerto Rico storefront will also provide a space where visitors will be able to live a full “Rums of Puerto Rico” experience, program Director Pedro Cuéllar said.
“As a world-class rum producer, Puerto Rico has earned an international reputation for quality rum manufacturing and we want the people that come across this venue to recognize this fact, discover the reasons why we are known as the Rum Capital of the World and celebrate Rum Times,” he said.
“Rum manufacturing is one of our key growing industries. Promoting its awareness and consumption in the U.S. market is essential to drive new opportunities into this segment,” Cuéllar noted.