(Bloomberg) — Puerto Rico will be using part of its $1.5 billion of federal rescue funds to throw a New Year’s bash.
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On Thursday, Governor Pedro Pierluisi announced that the bankrupt U.S. territory will help “host” ABC’s televised New Year’s Eve event, shining a spotlight on the island’s tourism industry as it rebounds from the pandemic.
“We are very excited to host ‘Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest 2022’ on our Island and to count on this high-caliber event to project all the great things that make our Island and our people great,” Pierluisi said in a statement.
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Seacrest will be leading the event from Times Square in New York, while Puerto Rico will play “host destination” for parts of the broadcast.
The San Juan event will take place in and around the island’s Convention Center District. The estimated $3.6 million cost will be financed through the American Rescue Plan Act, the $1.9 trillion legislation enacted this year that sent an unprecedented amount of aid to states and territories to kick-start economies laid low by Covid-19.
Pierluisi said the ABC show attracts 7 million viewers and will be a boon to Puerto Rico’s tourism sector, which represents about 6% of the island’s gross domestic product.
“As we head into our tourism season peak, this will allow us to continue driving momentum and ensuring that our most critical months for tourism keep the industry booming well into 2022, supporting businesses and jobs on the Island,” Pierluisi said.
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