How Escalating Protests Are Affecting Tourism in Puerto Rico

Jul 18, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Protests in Puerto Rico calling for the resignation of Governor Ricardo Rosselló are ramping up across the island.

According to CNN, the demonstrations began after about 900 pages of leaked conversations from Rosselló’s private Telegram Messenger group were published over the weekend. The scandal — which some are calling “Rickyleaks” — exposed conversations between the governor and other politicians that included profane, homophobic and misogynistic content regarding media figures, celebrities, fellow politicians and others.

Protesters have since taken to the streets of San Juan to demand Rosselló step down as governor. As of now, Rosselló has stated he has no plans to resign.

On Wednesday night, police fired tear gas at protesters during one of the largest demonstrations. San Juan’s mayor, however, is still in support of the protests. “I’m not going to cooperate with [Rosselló’s] abuses. I won’t be part of his efforts to criminalize the legitimate right of the people of Puerto Rico to ask for his resignation,” Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz told CNN.

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - JULY 17: Demonstrators and police face off during a protest against Ricardo Rossello, the governor of Puerto Rico on July 17, 2019 in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. Police used tear gas and reportedly fired rubber bullets late Wednesday evening during the protest. There have been calls for the governor to step down after it was revealed that he and top aides were part of a private chat group that contained misogynistic and homophobic messages. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Demonstrators and police face off during a protest in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

With no end in sight for the public demonstrations, some cruise ships bound for Puerto Rico are canceling their stops. “Due to the ongoing civil unrest in San Juan, Puerto Rico, we have canceled Harmony of the Seas’ call to San Juan,” Owen Torres, the manager of corporate communications for Royal Caribbean Cruises, told FOX. “Harmony will now sail to St. Maarten, her next scheduled port of call. Concern for the safety and wellbeing of our guests and crew members is our top priority.”

Carnival Cruises, on the other hand, doesn’t have any plans to stop service to Puerto Rico. “Our next call to San Juan isn’t until July 21,” a Carnival representative told TPG in an email. “We are monitoring the situation and will let our guests know if there are any changes. So far, all visits to San Juan remain as scheduled.”

Still, Discover Puerto Rico — the island’s official destination marketing organization — has issued a travel advisory for visitors in San Juan. It states that the protests in Old San Juan have had a “limited impact” on tourism. While all airports, taxi services, tourist attractions and hotels are operating normally across Puerto Rico, the advisory suggests travelers check with businesses in the local area to make sure they are open. Tourists should also allow additional time for travel, as the increased traffic in the area may cause delays.

“We are closely monitoring the protests around Fortaleza,” the advisory reads. “We recommend travelers avoid this area and take precautions traveling in Old San Juan during this time.”

Featured image by Xavier Garcia/Bloomberg via Getty Images.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.