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PR’s tourism sector ‘operational’ says Tourism Co.

Hurricane Irma uprooted hundreds of trees in the San Juan area, including the busy Condado tourist zone, where this massive tree blocked Ashford Ave. Thursday.

While the assessment of the impact Hurricane Irma had across the island continues, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company’s preliminary report showed that major tourism infrastructure and attractions are “operational and the island can continue to welcome new visitors.”

While power outages are present throughout the island, many hotels — as well as essential services such as hospitals — are operational due to generators and the majority of hotels throughout mainland Puerto Rico are able to take in visitors, said José Izquierdo, Tourism Co. executive director.

However, attractions such as parks and beaches are currently being assessed to ensure a focus on quick clean up in the coming days, he added.

Meanwhile, service at the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport resumed Thursday, after an initial assessment was completed. Airport services, including car rentals, were to resume when the airport reopened.

While flight delays are expected, inbound and outbound flights were once again active at LMM. Puerto Rico’s main port in San Juan is currently being assessed, with the expectation that cruises to the island will resume shortly, he added.

“After an early assessment this [Thursday] morning, we can attest to the fact that nearly all hotels in Puerto Rico are operational and apt to continue receiving guests. The public and private sectors worked together to implement emergency plans,” Izquierdo said.

“Hotels and tourist attractions across the island implemented safety measures before the storm that have allowed them to recover quickly. Travelers planning to visit Puerto Rico can be confident in that their travel plans should not be affected, and that our industry is ready to continue providing the quality experience that distinguishes us,” he said.

Throughout the storm, the Tourism Co. worked together with the private sector to manage all inquiries from travelers and coordinated with other government agencies on efforts to prepare for Hurricane Irma’s potential impact. The agency continues to work with all tourism partners to further assess damage and ensure tourist sites can resume full operations as soon as it is safe to do so, he added.

“Our thoughts are with our Caribbean neighbors who have also been impacted by this storm and those on the U.S. mainland who may still be in harm’s way,” Izquierdo concluded.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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