Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Puerto Rico Votes For Statehood

Puerto Rico voted for statehood on the status plebiscite November 6, 2012.  The majority of the voters rejected the current Commonwealth status and voted for statehood.  The plebiscite ballot had two questions.  First voters had to choose whether they wanted the current status of Commonwealth to continue, and second, if voters rejected the Commonwealth status, voters had to choose one of three alternatives to the current status: statehood, independence and sovereign free association.

The rejection to the current status of Commonwealth got 54 percent of the votes and 46 percent favored the Commonwealth status.  On the second part of the ballot, the choice of Statehood won with 61 percent of the votes, sovereign free association got 33 percent and independence got 5.5 percent of the votes.

The non-binding referendum would require final approval from Congress.  Recently President Barack Obama had expressed support for the referendum and pledged to respect the will of the people in the event of a clear majority.  The residents of Puerto Rico are U.S. citizens, but are prohibited from voting in presidential elections and Puerto Rico's resident commissioner in the U.S. House has no voting powers.

The vote for statehood has put Puerto Rico on the spotlight.  Millions of people outside the island have become interested about the future of Puerto Rico.  Some have mentioned, that Puerto Rico becoming the 51st state, could be an opportunity for the Republican Party to show inclusiveness to Hispanic voters.  A petition has been posted on the White House website asking the Obama administration to take action on the results of the referendum in Puerto Rico.  The petition wants to get 25,000 signatures.  Here is the petition:


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Condado Vanderbilt Reopens In Puerto Rico

After being shut down for 15 years, Puerto Rico has re-opened the historic Condado Vanderbilt Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  A $270 million renovation was done on the grand  hotel built in 1919 by Frederick William Vanderbilt, a member of one of New York’s most prominent families.  The property was designed by the architectural firm responsible for The New York Biltmore and Grand Central Station.  Celebrities and politicians like Errol Flynn, Bob Hope, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt were once guest of the Vanderbilt Hotel.

The new banquet halls and the 1919 Restaurant are open at the Condado Vanderbilt hotel, but the 323 rooms and 131 suites will be available for guest when the hotel fully opens in the Spring of 2013.  Condado Vanderbilt Hotel will be one of Puerto Rico’s finest luxury properties, a symbol of an era of elegance that is reemerging in Puerto Rico.

The Condado Vanderbilt Hotel was called the Condado Beach Hotel until it closed in 1997.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Medical Tourism In Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico wants to be part of the medical tourism segment, the fastest growing tourism sector in the world today.  Puerto Rico is well-positioned to be part of this segment, with Puerto Rico's many hospitals, pharmacies, and clinical laboratories.  Medical cost on the island are lower by 40% to 60% compared to the States, that will help Puerto Rico draw tourists from the mainland U.S., the Caribbean and South America.

Puerto Rico aims to become the premier destination in the Caribbean for medical tourism.  Puerto Rico has the flight connections, infrastructure and medical services necessary to become a regional leader.  Already a world class destination, patients will have the opportunity to combine their health related stay on the island with leisure and entertainment.

These are the top 10 countries currently leading the world in attracting tourists for medical treatment:  Brazil, Costa Rica, India, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Turkey.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Seaplane Service In San Juan, Puerto Rico

Seaplanes in Paradise & San Juan Water Tours has started to offer charter and sightseeing flights via seaplane from San Juan Bay, In Puerto Rico.  The flights are on a nine-passenger Cessna 208 seaplane that can land on the water or airport tarmacs. 

The flights on Seaplanes in Paradise & San Juan Water Tours originate from Pier 6.  They offer charter flights to various locations in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands as well as sight-seeing flights.

With an investment of $3 million, Seaplanes in Paradise & San Juan Water Tours, will also include boat tours of San Juan Bay.  The boat trips will feature attractions of the new Bahia Urbana, a redevelopment plan for the San Juan waterfront.