Discover Puerto Rico, the island’s Destination Marketing Organization, said in a statement that a “decision was needed to maintain tourist, investor, and public confidence in Puerto Rico and for the island to continue its strong path to recovery.”
The DMO’s comments were in reference to Gov. Ricardo Rosselló’s resignation following nearly two weeks of widespread public protests following the arrests on corruption charges of six former government officials — including ex-Education Secretary Julia Keleher and the former head of the Health Services Administration, Ángela Ávila — and the release of 889 pages of a profanity-laced chat on the Telegram app that included the governor and 11 of his closest collaborators.
The protests — which were for the most part peaceful — concentrated in front of the governor’s mansion, La Fortaleza, in Old San Juan, prompting concerns from cruise lines, which canceled stops on the island.
“In 2019, tourism in Puerto Rico is on track to achieve record-breaking, historical numbers — a tourism comeback never seen before,” said DMO CEO Brad Dean.
“We’re encouraged by the accounts of many travelers who arrived on the island during the last two weeks, to enjoy the island’s gastronomy, attractions, and cultural offerings, and we are continuing to welcome new travelers each day,” he said.
Discover Puerto Rico was created through bi-partisan legislation to grow tourism on the Island, as political leaders, mayors, principal business organizations and the people of Puerto Rico agreed that tourism plays an integral role in strengthening the economy and creating jobs.
“The industry is united and working closely together, including the 83,000 employees in tourism who work every day, to ensure visitors continue to have a positive experience,” Dean said.
“We have confidence that the island will move forward and come together, to mitigate the possible adverse impact this situation may have had on the record-breaking tourism activity we have experienced in the recent months,” he added.