Broadway actor and director Lin-Manuel Miranda did not throw away his shot to be part of a major tourism announcement involving his two homes—New York City and Puerto Rico. The two CVBs, NYC & Company and Discover Puerto Rico, have joined hands for an inaugural yearlong city-to-island marketing campaign.
“This partnership is deeply personal for me as it formally bridges two of the most fundamental parts of my identity,” the Hamilton mastermind says. “As a first generation New Yorker with parents from Puerto Rico and family on the island, I’ve always felt a special connection not only to my life in upper Manhattan but with my roots and summers spent in Vega Alta, Puerto Rico. I do not exist without both or either.”
On the surface, the hustle and bustle of the concrete jungle and the sandy beaches of Puerto Rico may appear to have little in common. In reality, there is much cultural overlap between the urban city and the tropical United States territory. For one, as depicted in Miranda’s other Tony-winning musical In the Heights, the Broadway and film star’s childhood neighborhood of Washington Heights has a large Puerto Rican influence.
“New York City and Puerto Rico share a diverse culture and vibrancy that cultivates a unique affinity between the two destinations, and there could not be a better time for us to align our efforts,” says Fred Dixon, NYC & Company president and CEO. “We are proud to partner with Discover Puerto Rico to encourage and welcome visitation to the island.”
NYC & Company board of directors vice chairman Charles Flateman and Discover Puerto Rico CEO Brad Dean both lent their John Hancocks to this agreement today at El Museo del Barrio in Manhattan. The city-to-island marketing and advertising exchange is valued at $300,800. Billboards for the Big Apple will be posted in San Juan beginning Nov. 19 and remain up for three months. Ads for Puerto Rico will appear on bus stop shelters and LinkNYC screens in all five boroughs from Nov. 19 to Jan. 13.
Another commonality between NYC and Puerto Rico is both places have bounced back from catastrophic events and have been faced with the challenge of regaining the trust of tourists and event professionals alike. Puerto Rico’s newly formed destination marketing organization wants to assure the world they are open for business one year post-Hurricane Maria.
“We are working aggressively to elevate Puerto Rico’s brand and make it visible to the world as a premier travel destination,” Brad Dean, CEO of Discover Puerto Rico, says. “Puerto Rico is open for business and eager to share its rich and diverse culture with visitors. Our entire Island is brimming with festivals, events, attractions and natural beauty that are waiting to be discovered this holiday season.”
With approximately 26 daily flights between New York City area and Puerto Rico, both destinations also encourage visitors to travel during the upcoming holiday season. Over the holidays, moviegoers in New York, Puerto Rico and nationwide can catch Miranda on the big screen in Mary Poppins Returns, opening Dec. 19. Just after the new year, he’ll return to the stage for a special three-week engagement of Hamilton at Puerto Rico’s Teatro UPR from Jan. 8 to 27.