Following Tuesday’s 6.4-magnitude Puerto Rico earthquake, Discover Puerto Rico, the Island’s non-profit destination marketing organization, wants travelers to know the destination is open for tourism. It reports that all major hotels are operating as business as usual, and all flights are operating normally to and from Luis Munoz Marin International Airport, Ponce, and Aguadilla airports.
The San Juan Port is in full operation and on Wednesday, January 8, welcomed approximately 15,000 tourists from three cruise ships. In addition, the Ponce Cruise Port and major attractions including El Morro, El Yunque, San Cristobal Fort, including all areas around San Juan, are open.
“Our beaches, natural attractions, restaurants, and travel service providers are ready to share Puerto Rico’s unique culture and warm hospitality with travelers,” says the Discover Puerto Rico statement. “One of the best ways that people can show their support for Puerto Rico at this time is to keep their upcoming vacations, work trips, meetings, conferences, and events. Tourism is vital to the local community, and to keep the economy recovering, Puerto Rico needs to maintain the record-breaking tourism boom it experienced in 2019, which fueled the local communities.”
The southern region of the island was the area primarily impacted. Some properties in this area have reported damage. These include Hotel Copamarina, Ponce Plaza, Hotel Guanica, and Costa Bahia. Two tourism sites, Punta Ventana in Guayanilla and the Ruins of the Lighthouse in Guanica, reported damage as well. Punta Ventana, a famous stone arch, has crumbled as did a Guayanilla church.
Governor Wanda Vazquez declared a state of emergency as a precaution that is still in place to ensure resources such as FEMA and the National Guard are quickly deployed to assist those in the southern region who may need help.
For those interested in donating, the local American Red Cross is gathering donations for those who wish to provide support to those in the southern region. Click here for details.