Puerto Rico’s economy stands to score $45 million from the celebration of the sixth edition of the World Baseball Classic in San Juan and the PGA Tour Puerto Rico Open in Río Grande this week, two events that draw significant tourism and put the island on the map, Tourism Company Executive Director Ingrid Rivera-Rocafort said Wednesday.
“For a week, Puerto Rico will become the focus of thousands of international and local fans who faithfully follow their national team players and two of the most popular sports in the world,” she said during a news conference.
Hosting events such as the World Baseball Classic and the PGA Tour Puerto Rico Open contribute to the island’s economic progress and development, as well as its infrastructure, aside from “creating new opportunities and generating income for local businesses and the hospitality industry,” she said.
“Puerto Rico has a world-class infrastructure. A colorful culture and a people that enjoys welcoming visitors. Sporting events like the World Baseball Classic and the PR Open are of proven excellence and give us the opportunity to show the world the greatness that is our island,” said Rivera-Rocafort.
As part of the promotional efforts the events generate, Puerto Rico will have an international presence on mass media such as ESPN, ESPN2, MLB Network and the Golf Channel, among others, during the broadcast of the games. These media outlets have an estimated audience of 630 million viewers, she said.
For the first time ever, the Tourism Company is running a promotion for participating hotel rooms in the metropolitan area. This promotion offers discounts to guests through a book provided when they get their room key. The agency also struck agreements with wholesalers in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela for packages created specifically for the World Baseball Classic.
“In this sense, we have been successful attracting visitors from other places,” she said. “The world has its eyes on Puerto Rico. The country is ready, our infrastructure is ready, our people are ready.”
The World Baseball Classic will take place March 7-10 at the newly renovated Hiram Bithorn Stadium while the PGA Tour Puerto Rico Open is being held at Trump International Golf Club in Río Grande March 4-10.