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four days after the effect of Hurricane FionaHoteliers and Parador owners expressed concern about problems with the supply of diesel and drinking water, a situation that seemed worse than the crisis. Hurricane Maria In 2017, according to the leaders of the tourism industry.
“There are many hotels which are operating with one plant and the order of the day is to get diesel and water. Diesel is complicated, but it appears to be. But where there is a problem there is water, because hotels have their own pools, but that is running out… there is concern that the supply is not reaching the hotels.”, expressed Joaquín Bolivar III, president of the Puerto Rico Hotel and Tourism Association (PRHTA), in an interview new day,
He pointed out that some properties have fixed contracts with diesel suppliers, but deliveries are not daily. As of now, all hotels deal with their reservations and those affected resort to the help of other properties, as was the case five years ago.
“I wonder if, after what happened to Maria, we’re dealing with these diesel issues in Puerto Rico,” lamented the owner of the Marriott Hotel’s Courtyard in Miramar, which has essential services since yesterday.
In the case of hotels located in tourist areas such as Isla Verde, Condado and Old San Juan, they do not have electricity service. In this last location, for example, the Convento and Palacio provincial hotels operate with electric generators. Its general manager, Alfredo Arroyo, said, so far, they have not suffered a setback with the fuel supply.
However, the Embassy Suites Hotel in Dorado is awaiting delivery of diesel today, as supplies are “catching up,” confirmed the property.
whereas, The only hotel in Caguas, Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, is operated with an electric generator and has a substantial fuel supply.MariCarmen Borges, senior vice president of Empress Santana, said.
In Ponce, meanwhile, Bolivar III explained that hotels continue to operate with electric generators, while some taverns in Mayagüez have electricity service, but no drinking water.
Same view in hostels
For his part, Javier Ramirez, president of the Association of Paraders and Small Inns of Puerto Rico, indicated that the situation they are going through is similar to that of hotels.
He elaborated that Most of the island’s inns already have drinking water service, but they do not have electricity, so they operate with electric generators.
He has been on a waiting list for diesel for three days in the case of the property he owns at the Combat Beach Resort in Cabo Rojo.
,We have five suppliers (at Combat Beach Resort) and three of them are not answering the phone. Another told us he was only supplying gas stations and another told us he was putting us on a waiting list, because he had so many people he didn’t know when he was going to arrive.“, he told.
“We are extremely worried. We have our reservations, but that will give us about three more days. We are worried that when the supplier comes they may not give us all the supplies and only for the plant that is running,” They said.
Flow of local people and tourists
The problem of supply of diesel and water comes amidst huge crowds of locals and tourists in major hotels of the country.
Bolivar III indicated that these facilities became a haven for some families during the passage of the storm and ideal places for those seeking electricity and drinking water.
“When the initial storm passed, we had many people with young children and there have been a significant number of corporate groups as well”said the businessman.
For the Paraders, however, the story is different, as Ramirez admitted that calls for reservations had been cut short or, in a worst-case scenario, called off.
“We suffered a tremendous loss, we had many cancellations and many people changed the date. This is understandable because many people throughout Puerto Rico have other preferences right now. Certainly, it (the storm) is a hard blow to the industry”, he insisted.
Bolivar III shared Ramírez’s concern, but claimed that the message that should be conveyed to tourists is that “There’s no reason to cancel a trip, especially if you’re in the Northern Territory.”
Even before the storm passed, the hotelier insisted that October was turning out to be a good month for the tourism industry, which enjoyed income from accommodation that exceeded $1,000 million in the first seven months of the year.
The aftershock of the cyclone may soften with the arrival of rescuers, first responders and refugees in the country’s hostels, but, so far, this type of guest influx has not been significant, Bolívar III and Ramírez agreed.