Dec. 20 will mark three months after Hurricane María clobbered Puerto Rico, but the Puerto Rico Tourism Co. said it will mark the island’s “comeback” just in time for the holiday season.
The agency confirmed more than 100 hotels are open and operating, more than 4,000 restaurants are serving customers and major tourism attractions islandwide have been cleaned up and restored.
“All this just in time for travelers to experience the longest holiday season in the world, one which will be celebrated stronger than ever this year,” the agency stated.
“It’s been the continued collaboration with Gov. Ricardo Rosselló’s team and tourism industry partners that has resulted in tremendous progress and we’re thrilled to be officially open for tourism,” said Tourism Co. Executive Director José Izquierdo.
“Tourism is a vital contributor to the island’s economy, so reaching these milestones not only will help build a stronger, better Puerto Rico, but showcases the resiliency in our people and destination,” he said.
The agency offered a rundown of important milestones for leisure and business travelers planning to visit Puerto Rico during the holiday and winter season.
- Airports: All airports are fully operational. There are approximately 70 flights per day across 27 different major commercial airlines. San Juan International airport (SJU) continues to have daily nonstop service from 17 major airports in mainland U.S. Additional nonstop flights are operating from Canada, Germany, Panama, Colombia, Dominican Republic and other islands in the Caribbean.
- Hotels: More than 75 percent of hotels are operational and taking reservations. As first-responders staying at hotels in San Juan prepare to depart, this frees up rooms for travelers. Not only are iconic hotels like El San Juan Hotel re-opening, but new hotels are also opening, like Solace by the Sea in Ponce. However, a number of luxury properties, namely the St. Regis Bahía Beach in Río Grande and the Ritz Carlton in Dorado remain closed until further notice.
- Cruises: Close to 60 cruise shore excursions are available, and are responsible for helping San Juan secure more than 70 transit calls from cruise lines through the end of January 2018, he said. Furthermore, 80,000 homeport passengers have embarked from San Juan over the last two months, and 85,000 more are expected to do so through Jan. 31, 2018.
- Tourism attractions: There are 107 operating tourist attractions across the island, including major sites like Old San Juan, the Castillo San Felipe del Morro, Cueva Ventana, among others.
- Restaurants: The restaurant industry leads with a total of 1,673 open restaurants in the San Juan area and thousands more across the island, the agency confirmed.
- Getting around: Ground transportation is operating as usual. If arriving by air or sea, taxis and public transportation are available. And 24 major car rental companies are open, with dealers across the island should travelers want to venture off and explore.
The Tourism Co. urged travelers to consider visiting Puerto Rico, which is known for celebrating one of the longest Christmas seasons in the world. The festivities extend through mid-January with the Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastián.