Puerto Rico Aims to Bring Back Tourists by Christmas

After the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico is looking to bring back tourists by Christmas.

Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company Jose Izquierdo told USA Today that, while three-quarters of the island’s residents remain without power and the destination’s primary focus remains on rebuilding, he hopes tourism will reopen by December 20, in time for the December to May Caribbean high season for tourism.

Cruise lines have already announced plans to return to the island starting in November. On November 12, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Dawn will resume sailings from San Juan on a revised seven-day itinerary. The cruise line is even offering travel agents a $50 bonus commission on San Juan cruises, for bookings made after October 5.

Both Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Line are set to begin making San Juan calls once more starting November 30, when the cruise lines expect power and transportation to be readily available in the city. Carnival Cruise Line will also resume sailings from San Juan on February 18, 2018, once Carnival Fascination completes its charter by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide housing and meals to relief workers in St. Croix.

In air travel news, Izquierdo told USA Today that the island’s airports are operational. Many airlines, including Southwest Airlines, JetBlue, American Airlines and Delta, are continuing to offer flexible rebooking policies for flights to Puerto Rico through April 2, 2018.

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