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Miss Universe Pageant Promotes San Juan As A Safe Destination

Municipality of San Juan to maximize $6.5 million investment to host Miss Universe


May 9, 2002
Copyright © 2002 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

"The events of Sept. 11 and the devastating effect these had on local tourism have led us to the use the Miss Universe 2002 Pageant to project San Juan as a safe and particularly attractive tourism destination within the U.S.," said San Juan Mayor Jorge Santini.

By hosting this event, the municipality of San Juan expects to maximize economic development initiatives through promotion and advertising in and outside of Puerto Rico.

The $6.5 million investment for the rights to host the Miss Universe Pageant on May 29 at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum is expected to generate $4 million in sponsorship sales, nine minutes of airtime to hundreds of million of viewers in 158 countries (an estimated value of $4 million at CBS’s present rate), and no less than $29 million in direct economic impact, which will benefit San Juan’s economy.

Nine minutes of airtime is equivalent to 18, :30-second commercials. That exposure, at CBS’s rate $250,000 per commercial, would cost $4 million.

"The structural production of the Miss Universe Pageant brings with it a series of opportunities for filming at various tourism, historical, and cultural sites in San Juan," Santini said. "This projection of San Juan is estimated to reach hundreds of million of viewers in 158 countries."

To attract more visitors to the island, the Miss Universe Organization in a partnership with Miami World Travel and the municipality of San Juan is offering vacation packages for the competition. The packages offer the option of three or seven night stays at centrally located hotels in San Juan, all within easy access to the events.

Based on statistics submitted by the Puerto Rico Tourism Co. regarding the impact of last year’s Miss Universe Pageant, Santini highlighted the following as the most important economic benefits to come from the event:

  • The visit of more than 1,500 tourists and 360 international journalists
  • The creation of over 2,000 direct and indirect jobs during a two-month period
  • Approximately 11,500 rooms occupied that represented more than $5.6 million and helped boost hotel occupancy to 70% during the month of May
  • The opportunity to present San Juan to the world as a tourism destination
  • The Miss Universe Pageant web page received close to 20 million hits that provoked fans of this event to visit through Cybernet San Juan and this mechanism provided a database of more than 200,000 names for the future use of marketing.

The Roberto Clemente Coliseum, which turns 30 years old this year, is having the finishing touches done on its first phase of remodeling to provide better accommodations for attendees, just in time for the pageant. Renovations include dressing rooms, bathrooms, kiosks, and lighting systems.

This is the second consecutive year that Puerto Rico is the site of the Miss Universe Pageant. Last year’s event was in commemoration to the Pageant’s 50th anniversary and the winner was Puerto Rico’s Denise Quiñones. This time around is Miss Universe’s quest is to create history, by holding the event in the country of the titleholder.

Thanks to last year’s experience, the municipality of San Juan has been able to have a better handle of the event. For example, this time around, by acquiring the full rights to the production instead of merely hosting the event at one of its facilities, the municipality of San Juan has taken full control.

As a result, it has been able to control the ticket price to the Miss Universe telecast night. The event this year will have a number of innovations over prior editions of the Pageant. For example, San Juan has designed a carnival-like event with the pageant delegates through the streets of Old San Juan to be used as part of the opening of the telecast event, a parade of delegates has been organized through Paseo de Diego in Rio Piedras, and a high fashion show is planned at the Tapia Theater where the delegates will be wearing dresses made by local designers, as well a various benefit events. They have also planned for the delegates to visit the municipalities of Fajardo, Cayey, and Corozal, thus extending the favorable projections of Puerto Rico beyond the confines of San Juan.

Ticket prices have been reduced up to 50% from last year’s event. Arena tickets cost $275, box seats cost $175, preference seating is $75 and general admission costs $35.

Enthused by the success of recent Major League Baseball games held in San Juan, Santini indicated the importance of projecting the Capital City as a place where residents and tourists alike can witness live major events.

"The preparation of the Miss Universe Pageant was very complex and interesting at the same time," said Dana Cruz, director of economic development for the municipality of San Juan. "Our focus is not to host a beauty pageant but to project San Juan as a historical, cultural, and entertainment destination that the entire family would like to visit."

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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