If the back-to-school doldrums have already got you thinking about a winter escape somewhere warm and sunny, or if you want one final hurrah for summer, then allow me to present for your consideration…Puerto Rico!
I know what you’re thinking: Puerto Rico? Aren’t they still living under blue tarps without electricity? Indeed, parts of the island are still struggling to make a full recovery from Hurricane Maria. But after a long and arduous process, 99.9% of the islanders now have power. And importantly, Puerto Rico’s tourism sector is back in full swing and open for business.
If it feels indulgent to take a vacation in a place that is still recovering from a disaster, let me dissuade you of that notion. Puerto Rico needs you.
Worldwide, tourism contributes billions of dollars to GDP and supports millions of jobs. Its benefits aren’t limited to the hospitality industry, either. The indirect economic impacts of tourism are substantial, as it touches on more than a dozen other industries, from farming to public works. As a result, tourism is a driver of stable and sustainable economic growth and an excellent tool to recover from crises. If you want to help Puerto Rico, traveling there is one of the best ways to do so.
Almost a year after Hurricane Maria devastated the island, Puerto Rico is ready to welcome you to its beautiful shores. 89% of its hotels are open, with more opening every month. And – bonus! – most of them are newly renovated and refurbished, making your stay there extra spiffy. Car rental companies, ATMs, hospitals, golf courses: all open and operational. Almost 200 tourist attractions are available as well: surfing, snorkeling, ziplining (the longest zipline in the world!), kayaking through bioluminescent bays (the water glows!), horseback riding, hiking, and more. You can experience the richness of Puerto Rican culture in San Juan or take in a stunning sunset on its western coast; lounge on the beach or get your adrenaline pumping. The possibilities are endless – and they’re all wrapped up in Puerto Ricans’ warm embrace of their visitors.
If you’re interested in planning a trip to Puerto Rico – or if you’d like to see Mockingbird add a small group tour to Puerto Rico in the near future – contact me. We’ll get you there!
(Pictures above: Then…and now. Photos courtesy of Narciso Moreno and Discover Puerto Rico.)