Cultural capital, Caribbean paradise, Gateway to the Americas, home of the pina colada – Puerto Rico has it all. As a U.S. territory and longtime getaway destination, the island enjoys easy accessibility from all U.S. hubs (no passport needed) and a well educated, highly trained workforce that includes seasoned hospitality professionals. Meeting venues in Puerto Rico in particular benefit from the island's industrial diversity, which ranges from the manufacture of pharmaceuticals and bio-medical solutions, to one of the largest rum distilleries in the world.
With meetings and conventions comprising nearly one-third of the Puerto Rico's tourism revenue, the island's hospitality and meeting industry takes group business seriously, offering more than 1.3 million square feet of conference and function space and nearly 14,000 hotel rooms island-wide to suit any budget. Options range from intimate board rooms for small groups to the largest ballroom in the Caribbean; the mix includes cosmopolitan hotels in the San Juan metropolitan area, as well as at luxurious resorts located on the island's most magnificent beaches.
Redefining Puerto Rico's tourism landscape is the Puerto Rico Convention Center Pedro Rossello. The largest facility of its type in the Caribbean, this visually dramatic facility has a wave-like roof and a 13-story "glass curtain" looking out across to the Atlantic. It evokes images of Puerto Rico's historic and natural surroundings. The center offers a 152,700-square-foot exhibition hall, a 39,500-square-foot ballroom and 36,200 square feet of meeting space in 15 flexible rooms with 28 breakout rooms. Technology at this state-of-the-art facility includes fully programmable lighting controls, broadband and wireless Internet connectivity, video-conferencing and satellite linking capabilities. The most technologically advanced facility in the Caribbean and Latin America, the center provides delegates with a high-tech, high-touch experience.
A full-service business center, catering and event staff, production rigging, sound and light staff are also available on site. The center is part of a district-sized, multi-use waterfront development that, upon completion, will offer delegates a selection of restaurants, shops and entertainment venues in a distinct tourist zone for business gatherings and events.
Beyond its meeting spaces, Puerto Rico is well known for its stunning beaches, lush tropical landscape and rich cultural heritage. Daytime group activities include hiking or team-building events in the El Yunque Rainforest, water sports, championship golf and spa activities. In Old San Juan, the oldest walled city in the Caribbean, visitors can explore 500 years of Spanish cultural heritage along cobblestone streets, which are lined with Colonial buildings that now house chic restaurants, contemporary art galleries and distinctive shopping opportunities. Evening options include private dining at top island restaurants, and enjoying live music, dance and other activities in hotel casinos, lounges, and nightclubs.
With the benefit of being geographically central to both North and South America, Puerto Rico enjoys ample airlift from around the globe; it is just over four hours of flying time from New York, two hours from Miami and is an eight-hour flight from London. Moreover, the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport (SJU) is just ten minutes' drive from major tourist zones, Old San Juan and the Puerto Rico Convention Center Pedro Rossello.
Puerto Rico's sophisticated business sectors include manufacturing, financial services, pharmaceutical, agriculture and technology industries. As one of the world's leading rum producers, more than 80 percent of the rum sold in the U.S. originates in Puerto Rico. The island serves as headquarters for companies such as First BanCorp, Oriental Financial Group and R&G Financial Corporation.