I was recently in Puerto Rico and had the opportunity to meet with the governor, Luis Fortuño. He really understands the immense value the travel and tourism industry brings to his country. Back in the 1990s, Governor Fortuño served as the first Secretary of Puerto Rico’s Department of Economic Development and Commerce, the Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company and, also, the President of Puerto Rico’s Hotel Development Corporation.
And in his current role, Governor Fortuño is calling on his past experience to position Puerto Rico as an inviting destination that offers wonderful hotels for corporate, group and leisure guests to create an economic stimulus for the island. Thanks to his commitment to travel and tourism, Puerto Rico is becoming one of the leading Caribbean destinations for upscale and luxury hotels.
We currently have two very exciting new projects in the works on the island.
The first is Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve property, which will open in December 2012. It has 130 oversized rooms that feature outdoor showers and terraces that integrate into the living space, all less than 20 feet from the ocean. The state of the art spa will offer unique, signature treetop massage rooms and guests will be able to enjoy 72 holes of golf.
We also plan to open a 300-room JW Marriott hotel within the Coco Beach Resort, located in Rio Grande on the north east coast of Puerto Rico, just a few miles from San Juan. This beautiful property is being developed by Arturo Diaz, Jr., and his son, Jorge Diaz, and will feature four food and beverage outlets, three swimming pools and a 10,000 square foot spa.
These two new hotels are going to be one of a kind and are true indicators of the increasing demand for high quality accommodations in Puerto Rico and the growth of the territory’s tourism industry. I’m really anxious for these hotels to open and look forward to experiencing all that they, and Puerto Rico, have to offer.
I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.