By David Robinson
Puerto Rico has launched an initiative to promote the attractions of the Caribbean island to encourage more superyachts to visit. A key element of this campaign was a $30m investment to send a team to last month’s Monaco Yacht Show to talk with yacht captains and crew, media and other interested parties.
Marimar Lidin, sales director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company based in Madrid, told SB: “Last year 20 megayachts visited Puerto Rico and the economic benefit spend was $3.6m. We plan to grow this spend to more than $100m over the next five years. Some of the yachts visited to enjoy the delights it has to offer, such as the colonial capital city of San Juan, while others came to have repair and maintenance work done.”
Puerto Rico has more than a dozen marinas, of which around half can accommodate superyachts. Four particular marinas are involved in the initiative including the 1,100-berth Puerto del Rey marina, located at Fajardo on the east coast of the island. This claims to be the largest marina in the Caribbean and it is able to accommodate yachts up to 61m (200ft). This facility is currently subject to a multi-million renovation.
Another marina is The Yacht Club at Palmas del Mar, Humacao, also on the east coast, which until very recently was part of the IGY network of marinas. An IGY spokeswoman told SB: “The marina in Puerto Rico is no longer part of the IGY network, It has only just happened to have left.” She was unable to say the reason for the departure.
Another marina is the San Juan Bay marina located within the port area of the capital and this offers 125 berths up to 81m (265ft). The last of this quartet is in Ponce, and this also is under development.