Two major events scheduled to take place in Puerto Rico in coming weeks have been canceled as a result of global travel concerns amid the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
While there have been a number of suspected cases reported in Puerto Rico, none have yet been confirmed as coronavirus patients.
However, Tales of the Cocktail Foundation has called off its “Tales on Tour in Puerto Rico,” event originally slated for April 19-22, while the Puerto Rico Financial Services Forum has postponed its summit scheduled for Mar. 18-19, organizers of both events confirmed.
“Given the global reach of Tales of the Cocktail Foundation, an international nonprofit aimed at Educating, Supporting and Advancing the spirits industry worldwide, several factors outside of the current COVID-19 spread in the United States impacted the decision to cancel this year’s Tales on Tour,” organizers said.
Last year, attendees traveled from more than 20 countries to San Juan for the conference “which, if repeated this year, would put the island and locals at significant, undue risk. The safety of attendees and host cities continues to remain the organization’s top priority,” the group added.
Tales of the Cocktail Foundation is aware several local establishments and beneficiaries across Puerto Rico will be affected by the cancellation of Tales on Tour.
The Foundation will make best efforts to represent Puerto Rican establishments at this year’s convention in New Orleans, the group said.
Tales of the Cocktail Foundation will also offer this year’s cohort of cocktail apprentices from Puerto Rico the opportunity to work alongside some of the most renowned names in the industry during Tales of the Cocktail, slated for July 21-26, 2020 in New Orleans.
“Tales of the Cocktail is moving forward as planned. The Foundation will continue to collaborate closely with state and local officials and monitor advisories from the CDC to take all the recommended steps to keep Tales of the Cocktail safe and enjoyable,” it added.
“It is with a heavy heart that we cannot return to San Juan this year, but the safety and well-being of our host communities is our top priority,” said Caroline Rosen, president of Tales of the Cocktail Foundation.
“We feel incredibly grateful to have an international platform that will enable us to shine a light on Puerto Rico during our New Orleans conference,” she added.
“We’re hard at work with all of our partners to ensure it’s a safe and beautiful festival. In the meantime, please continue to patronize the bars and restaurants in your community that rely so heavily on our support at this time,” she said.
Meanwhile, the organizers of the Financial Services Forum confirmed their decision to postpone their event to a later date which has yet to be announced, but will likely be in November.
“Due to the worldwide alert (including Puerto Rico) related to COVID-19 (coronavirus) and as a precautionary measure and to ensure the well-being of all attendees, the organizers have decided to postpone the event,” the group said in a statement.