Following the implementation of Executive Order 2020-023 by Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced, the most aggressive COVID-19 preventive lockdown implemented by any U.S. jurisdiction so far, the Government of Puerto Rico launched an initiative to ensure that tourists currently visiting the Caribbean island receive accurate and updated information about the implications of the Executive Order to their on-island experience, while at the same time incentivizing them to return by offering a complimentary experience during their next visit. Carla Campos, Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC), the government’s Tourism agency, is tasked with spearheading the effort.
We want guests visiting Puerto Rico during this time to know that we realize that this global health emergency has put a dent in their travel plans, and that our priority is to keep our residents and visitors healthy and safe. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) calls for responsible travel at this time, and in Puerto Rico we are encouraging responsible travel by inviting visitors to comply with the terms of the lockdown and helping be part of the solution. By staying home or in your hotel room today, we will all be able to travel tomorrow,said Campos.
On Monday, it became evident that many tourists were not yet aware that the Executive Order requires residents and visitors stay indoors and avoid social gatherings for the extent of the lockdown, currently set to end on March 30. Police provided orientation to many visitors found visiting beaches. The PR Tourism Company responded promptly, implementing a local communication strategy aimed at informing visitors from abroad who are currently staying on the island. The government agency is also actively working alongside Discover Puerto Rico, the Island’s destination marketing organization, on an outreach strategy to provide accurate information to media outlets and partners abroad. Updated travel guidance can be found by visiting discoverpuertorico.com.
Leveraging the opportunity to encourage current visitors to return to the Island when the destination is ready to host again, the PR Tourism Company is offering a complimentary excursion to be used upon their return, to all those who are currently on the Island and whose travels have been interrupted by the local measures put in place. This proactive outreach will simultaneously provide economic relief to small and medium sized tourism businesses, which will undoubtedly be impacted by the lockdown.
The Puerto Rican people are warm, hospitable and always eager to host. We regret that during this global health emergency the destination is unable to showcase all the richness and diversity it has to offer and that many visitors have had to cut their trip short. We want visitors to know that Puerto Rico is at the forefront of global recovery efforts, and that these aggressive measures will ensure that the destination will once again be open for Tourism in record breaking time,added Campos
The PR Tourism Company sent a communications toolkit to all tourism businesses on the Island encouraging them to distribute the guidance to guests in their rooms and via emails. In it, the agency provides information and guidance related to the Executive Order, and invites guests who travelled to Puerto Rico to send evidence of their current visit to email@example.com. The PR Tourism Company will contact visitors who provide the requested information within 30 days and confirm a complimentary experience for them to enjoy on their next visit.