Puerto Rico diverting travelers booked to hurricane-affected Caribbean tourist destinations

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Puerto Rico’s tourism infrastructure has allowed the Island to resume regular operations of hotels, sites and attractions beginning this week. The island is continuing to welcome travelers with planned vacations in September and beyond, and has also become a transient hub for travelers across the Caribbean. Efforts over the past week have helped over 3,000 tourists from neighboring Caribbean islands be diverted to Puerto Rico, in addition to mobilizing industry partners to coordinate collections of supplies and donations.

“Today, nearly all hotels in Puerto Rico are operational and apt to continue receiving guests. We’re very fortunate that it’s business as usual across the Island and we’re already back on our feet,” said Jose Izquierdo, Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC). “Our Caribbean neighbors need support so we’ve been mobilizing our industry to not only take in travelers who have had their vacations disrupted to serve as a transient hub for them, but also help with relief efforts being conducted by local and U.S. authorities.”

In addition to welcoming new vacationers and resuming regular operations, following are examples of industry partners who have opened their doors to transient travelers and mobilized support efforts:

  • Marriott hotels including San Juan Marriott, Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel and AC Hotel by Marriott welcomed approximately 700 guests from St. Thomas, St. Maarten and St. John.
  • Wyndham Grand Rio Mar in Rio Grande, has welcomed approximately 300 guests from St. Thomas. Additionally, crew from the St. Thomas air traffic control center are staying on the property, who travel daily to and from St. Thomas.
  • The staff members of FEMA are staying at the InterContinental San Juan, where they have found suitable facilities and services to lead the disaster response and recovery efforts of the areas in need.
  • Hotels in the San Juan area, including The Verdanza Hotel, Condado Plaza and Caribe Hilton have mobilized the local community to gather donations for neighbor islands.

El Conquistador Resort, The Meliá Coco Beach, Hotel El Convento and all Marriott and Hilton properties on the island, among others, are also in full operation, taking reservations for future travelers, and welcoming new guests.

To date, the Government of Puerto Rico with support from the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, the Puerto Rico Department of State, the National Guard, the Puerto Rico State Agency for Emergency and Disaster Management, among others, has set up operational bases at the San Juan International Airport in order to assist transient passengers arriving in C-130 aircrafts and get them safely to hotels on the island. The U.S. National Guard has picked up over a two thousand tourists from neighboring islands and brought them to Puerto Rico for lodging, food and any medical assistance.

While some power outages are present throughout the Island, most of the Island has their power back and the majority of the hotels, as well as essential services on the island such as hospitals and supermarkets, have electric service and are fully operational.

For those interested in setting home base in Puerto Rico to help with post-hurricane Irma efforts for neighboring Caribbean islands, please contact the Puerto Rico State Agency for Emergency and Disaster Management at 787.724.0124 or visit http://www2.pr.gov/agencias/aemead/Pages/Home.aspx.

Visitors with questions about travel to Puerto Rico can call the PRTC hotline at 877.976.2400 or call their hotels directly for more information.

For more information on emergency services, resources and information about hurricane Irma in Puerto Rico visit http://puertoriconow.seepuertorico.com/