Tourism/Transportation

Government shutdown affects Puerto Rico tourism spots

The San Felipe del Morro fort in Old San Juan has remained closed this week. (Credit: Víctor Román) The San Felipe del Morro fort in Old San Juan has remained closed this week. (Credit: Víctor Román)

The Puerto Rico Tourism Co. announced Wednesday it has activated its contingency plan to address the closing of a number of federal offices and facilities frequented by tourists, including the El San Felipe del Morro fort in Old San Juan and the El Yunque National Rainforest.

“We’re working to assure all our visitors that the island is a diversified and secure destination for their vacation and there is no reason to make changes in their travel plans,” said Luis D. Muñiz, the Tourism Co.’s interim executive director.

While the closings of many U.S. government offices and departments in Puerto Rico do not affect the vast majority of sites and services used by visitors to the island, including the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, the shutdown has affected frequently visited locations, including El Morro, the San Cristobal Fort in Old San Juan as well as El Yunque, albeit partially. All three are operated by federal agencies.

To minimize the effect, the agency is working with the Luquillo and Río Grande municipal governments, as well as state and local agencies to coordinate efforts to provide alternate routes to parts of the rainforest not under U.S. jurisdiction, along with services.

“Now more than ever, tourism needs everyone’s support. It behooves us to show the world that our commitment is to provide unforgettable vacations and ensure excellent service, which should always characterize our destination,” he added.

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