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October 16, 2008

Mandarin Oriental To Open Five-Star Resort In Palmas Del Mar, Puerto Rico

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The governor of Puerto Rico, the Honorable Aníbal Acevedo Vilá, announced today plans for the construction of a Mandarin Oriental resort in the town of Palmas del Mar. The resort is scheduled to open in 2011 after a $300 million investment; the property is also the eighth five-star hotel to begin development on the island in the past four years.

The Mandarin Oriental Palmas del Mar Resort & Spa will feature 186 rooms and will generate 1,280 jobs during its construction, resulting in 500 jobs once it begins operation. The development of the Mandarin Oriental Palmas del Mar Resort & Spa brings the total of new hotel rooms on the island to 6,164, surpassing the goal of 5,000 new hotel rooms set by the governor at the start of his administration. In spite of the current economic outlook in many parts of the world, specifically the U.S., the development of these properties is part of an aggressive effort to sustain the recent growth in travel to the island.

“Puerto Rico offers countless options for travelers at all price points,” the governor said. “The development of our luxury offering is the result of a significant effort to diversify our island’s hotel portfolio and ensure that travelers seeking the comforts of a renowned international brand can find it in Puerto Rico.”

The Hong Kong-based Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is considered one of the leading luxury hotel brands in the world and has properties in some of the most exciting destinations around the globe.

The Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, Terestella Gonzalez Denton, added “The development of this new property on our island’s East-Central region is part of an effort to decentralize tourism from our major cities and direct the attention of travelers and investors to other destinations that offer natural beauty. We are certain that the appeal of Palmas del Mar captivated the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and we are pleased to welcome them to our island.”

Gonzalez Denton went on to say “The Puerto Rico Tourism Company is proud to have ushered in the development of five-star properties on the island, a feat that had never before been accomplished in Puerto Rico. These developments will surely attract a new set of travelers to our island and will have a substantial impact on our economy.”

Other five-star properties that have begun construction in Puerto Rico are the Condado Vanderbilt in San Juan; the Regent Punta Candelero in Humacao; Bahía Beach, St. Regis in Río Grande; JW Marriott and W Martineau Bay in Vieques; the Fairmont at Cerromar and; the Ritz Carlton in Dorado.

The governor of Puerto Rico has introduced a series of measures to stimulate tourism to the island. In Porta del Sol, on the island’s West Coast, $430.4 million have been invested to improve local roads, $734.5 million have gone toward the development of aqueducts and sewers, in addition to a $1.7 billion investment in 89 public works that are taking place in the region in anticipation of the 2010 Central American Games that are slated to take place in Mayaguez.

Further, the government has invested more than $400 million in the renovation of San Juan’s Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport; $10.1 million toward the international terminal at Rafael Hernández Airport in Aguadilla and; $2.5 million in renovations Mercedita Airport in Ponce.

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The governor added that a new airport will soon open at el Portal del Futuro, the new development at the former Roosevelt Roads naval base in Ceiba.

About Puerto Rico Tourism Company
The Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC), founded in 1970, is a public corporation responsible for stimulating, promoting and regulating the development of the tourism industry. It markets Puerto Rico as a tourism destination through advertising, public relations and promotional activities; promotes tourism among local residents; provides visitor orientation and technical assistance to investors; evaluates tourism facilities and establishes standards of quality; and regulates and oversees gaming operations. PRTC has offices and representatives in the U.S. mainland, Canada, Europe and Latin America.

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