Tourism and tech growth on the horizon as Puerto Rico gets new governor

by | Oct 16, 2019 | Economy, Headlines | Comments

After the widely publicized downfall of former Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló (NPP, D), the territory now has a new leader in the seat, Wanda Vázquez (NPP, D). With a new political leader in place, Puerto Rico’s economic development will also be in focus after tumultuous strife following public protests that eventually led to Rosselló’s resignation. With this in place, new prospects lay ahead for Puerto Rico, where the economy is already growing in areas after Hurricane Maria, bankruptcy issues, and after disputes over federal funding caused a major setback to the territory’s economy over the previous two years.

One unexpected area of the Puerto Rican economy that is beginning to take off is in the science and technology industries. The STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) startup accelerator, Parallel18, which provides funding for local startup businesses in the industry, is based in Puerto Rico and in its sixth round of startup funding. Puerto Rico also has a network in science and mathematics entrepreneurship through Ciencia Puerto Rico, which seeks to educate students, professionals, and the general public specifically in Puerto Rico about science and mathematics. This is designed to foster innovation and economic growth through the expansion of industry and knowledge in these fields by developing the support of scientific collaboration and networks.

Tourism is also continuing to expand in Puerto Rico, with over half a dozen hotels receiving travel awards in 2019, and being named the top travel spot in the Caribbean by a national travel journal. Even though the territory has not yet fully recovered in all physical and economic aspects since the tragedies of natural disaster, beaches and hotels have remained open for business, with affordable and pristine environments alongside a wide range of restaurants have kept tourism rates up in Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico has also attracted entertainment industry business, with a new show set to be filmed in the territory. The ABC series “The Baker and the Beauty” will be filming in Puerto Rico through February 2020, with the president of Universal Television, who is helping to produce the series, stating that the company is “proud and delighted” to work in Puerto Rico. Having the current filming take place in the territory is estimated to add $57 million in investment to the Puerto Rican economy, and provide positive publicity as well. Taken together, various channels through which the economy in Puerto Rico are already growing, with a strong public image increasingly put out through social, cultural, and economic mediums.