ATTACHED – The Puerto Rico Paradores and Tourism Association expressed its concern on Monday about the restrictions established in the new Executive order, which it considers unfair for the responsible small local businessman, and possibly inconsistent in the war against the spread of COVID-19 .
The members of the Association recognize that it was necessary to take additional control measures and impose sanctions in areas and specific people in a surgical way, to avoid a crisis in the hotel industry, while they believe that this executive order imposes, without reason, a burden in addition to the 80,000 employees and the thousands of SMEs in the 17 industries that make up the island’s tourist activity, the sector most affected by the pandemic.
“In our tourism sector, over eighty-five percent of the companies are SMEs and these actions threaten our survival. We are going to be aware that the application is consistent and how they supervise the megastores, supermarkets and chain pharmacies to ensure that they operate at 30 percent of their capacity “, said Jesús Ramos, president of the Association and owner of the Parador Villas Sotomayor Attached.
Parador owners point out that, during the past four months, data from the Municipal Case Investigation and Contact Tracking System indicate that a substantial part of these infections occur in the family environment, usually with the creation of groups at events and celebrations relatives or between friends who do not belong to the same family group.
“To close the behavioral gaps that we observe, a cultural change and responsible behaviors are required, which can only be achieved with a massive and segmented education campaign, together with supervision and monitoring with severe penalties for those who do not comply, sustained by a extended time. For this purpose, we have made several timely and feasible recommendations, and very few have been considered, ”said Tomás Ramírez, co-owner of the Combate Beach Resort in Cabo Rojo.
According to Ramos, since the beginning of the pandemic, endorsed hotels and inns have demonstrated civic responsibility and their commitment to the protocols established by the Tourism Company and the Department of Health. “We know that the new restrictions in OE-2020-80 are going to affect the occupation in our paradores; however, there are other industries and hundreds of companies within the sector that will suffer substantially. Our collective focus has to be on improving consistency in the use of masks and limiting the crowding of people in all environments, including the squares in some municipalities, the parties that continue to occur in short-term rental accommodations, and excess customers in some stores, “added Ramos.
“It is clear that the main responsibility for this new rise lies with our political class. However, we can only work to mitigate the results, and look to the future. We recommend that the Honorable Governor and the mayors, in addition to the State Police and the National Guard, require all agencies and employees with regulatory responsibility to provide coverage seven days a week and during the hours of most economic activity, such as and as does the Investigations Division of the Department of Health. If we properly organize the thousands of resources in the Municipal Police, the Natural Resources Watch Corps, PROSHA, the Tourism Company, the Treasury, Ports, and others, we could improve supervision and compliance, causing an immediate reduction in agglomerations. in all public settings and reduce contagion, ”said Ramírez.
“The Paradores of Puerto Rico are ready to continue serving the Puerto Rican people, providing a family atmosphere of relaxation and recreation, healthy and safe. We reiterate our support and respect for all health professionals, government agencies and organizations that fight to combat the virus, ”concluded Ramos.