‘We’re Confident Puerto Rico Will Recover’
As Puerto Rico comes up for air from the devastation, flooding and lack of electricity after the major hit it took from Hurricane Maria, the tourism board is encouraging tourists not to give up on visiting the island.
The following is a statement issued this week by José Izquierdo Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company. At this time, there is no timetable for when it will be good for tourists to return to the island; if you have plans or reservations, keep checking this website as PubClub.com will continue to provide updates on the situation:
“The past week has been a very difficult time for Puerto Rico and all its residents, families of Puerto Ricans living outside the Island, and travelers on the Island whom have not been able to go back home. Safety and security remains our priority as we continue to provide relief as quickly as possible.
“What has truly kept the spirit of the Puerto Rican people alive and lifted during these days has been the overwhelming support from not only the emergency crews and government agencies providing critical help on the ground, but also the tremendous support from the private sector and notable celebrities and individuals. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank everyone so much for the outpouring of generosity.
“Our relief efforts have been significantly augmented by the help received from our most loyal travel partners. Efforts like the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Adventure of the Seas’ humanitarian mission happening today to deliver donated supplies and take evacuees to Florida have been awe-inspiring. Royal Caribbean modified a voyage to help with these recovery efforts.
“Delta is another travel partner who is going above and beyond. They flew a flight full of law enforcement and National Guard to the Island from JFK and the flight will be returning later today on a humanitarian mission to JFK full of evacuees. As a legacy partner to the Island, we cannot be more thankful.
“We are deeply grateful to our most loyal travel partners for their committed support and generosity. What will continue to keep us strong and on a path to rebuilding will be continued assistance like this and I’m hopeful we’ll continue to receive support from other partners.
“We remain confident that Puerto Rico will quickly recover and the resiliency and strength of our people will get us through the days ahead.”
In his visit to Puerto Rico, President Trump told Puerto Rico officials to be proud hundreds haven’t died as they did in “a real catastrophe like Katrina.”
Here’s a statement issued by Puerto Rico Tourism shortly after the hurricane:
“If you’re thinking of visiting Puerto Rico or have travel plans booked in the coming weeks, we’re here to keep you informed.
“Hurricane Maria has passed through Puerto Rico. We’ll be working closely with Government agencies and the entire tourism industry to assess its impact on the Island.
“We’re confident that Puerto Rico will recover.
“Our tourism infrastructure is strong and our people are even stronger. We came together not long ago to help our Caribbean neighbors post-Irma and it’s this generosity, the hospitality of our people, and the beauty of our Island that we know will continue to lure millions of travelers like you to come visit us.
“Please continue to check back with us here.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming you to our Island once again.”
Tourism is a major industry in Puerto Rico. It has beaches, the only subtropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest Service, one of the longest zip lines in the world, Old Town San Juan, the historic El Morrow fort, great nightlife and is the home to the original Pina Colada bar.
Plus, it has the Bacardi Factory, which was largely undamaged by Maria. But, like all tourist attractions, it is closed until further notice as officials focus first and foremost on restoring power and basic services to residents.
When tourists are able to return is impossible to determine in the immediate aftermath of Maria, but it will not before the island and residents are ready to receive visitors.
San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz reacted with anger to President Trump’s recent comment that the island’s $72 billion debt needed to be dealt with along with the recovery in a CNN interview.
“You don’t put debt above people, you put people above debt,” Cruz said. “There is a moral imperative … When someone is in need, when someone is in dire need, when someone is in a life or death situation, there is a human, moral imperative to deal with that situation before dealing with anything else.”
Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello added to this, saying on Monday, “given Puerto Rico’s fragile economic recovery prior to the storms, we ask the Trump Administration and U.S. Congress to take swift action to help Puerto Rico rebuild.
A dusk-to-dawn curfew remains in effect throughout the island.