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Old 06-28-2021, 01:40 AM
 
Location: Macao
16,207 posts, read 39,527,844 times
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At least in Asia, the hotels are ridiculously cheap during covid. But when I look at Puerto Rico, they are starting at $75/night and go way up. I was also looking at some youtubers showing prices of pina colada ($13+ in San Juan in tourist areas)...and another with grocery shoppers showing meat in the market at $40-50 for a Sam's Club pork chop pack.

I'm sure the shopping is all due to the Jones Act. BUT...so what is cheap in Puerto Rico? But I also read that few vegetables and fruits due to Jones Act. Much of the foods look fried? Looks tasty but predominately put in a fryer.

What's the affordable things in PR? Beaches, I'd imagine. Rents perhaps?
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Old 06-28-2021, 12:12 PM
 
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With the lowest per capita income of any state of comparable population, housing costs and rents are depressed, with a rapid inflection upwards to CONUS levels of cost the closer you get to the govt work centers of Santurce and old San Juan.

Lodging is artificially low capacity compared to lesser Antilles and the DR, which increases the nightly cost. Way overpriced in my opinion as a native. Even Puerto Ricans travel to the DR for a cheaper resort like getaway, if that tells you anything. If it wasn't for the fact I still retain family lodging (both parents remain in the island post retirement) I'd never visit.

Food is relatively cheap, outside the tourist traps. Property taxes are cheap. That's about the only thing I consider cheap vs a mainland existence. Everything else is on par to higher, when adjusted to median income. Income taxes are Literal get out of town high (ask me how I know), unless you're a favored carpetbagger mainlander act 20 baby, but I digress on that.

Personally, I don't want PR to become another towel handing second class servant island for overweight western tourists. I want it to regain a foothold in us salaries and training, just like it did during the 936 days. Hawaii has the military industrial complex and a more comprehensive embrace of English for commerce (plus that little thing called statehood) to float the first world living conditions of their native Hawaiian population. Sure, they fold towels too, but it's not their main economic staple. I want the same for the kids of PR. If that means it doesn't compete with the rest of the European Union client states we call the chiclet box of the lesser Antilles, so be it.
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Old 06-28-2021, 09:49 PM
 
3,377 posts, read 3,820,907 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
At least in Asia, the hotels are ridiculously cheap during covid. But when I look at Puerto Rico, they are starting at $75/night and go way up. I was also looking at some youtubers showing prices of pina colada ($13+ in San Juan in tourist areas)...and another with grocery shoppers showing meat in the market at $40-50 for a Sam's Club pork chop pack.

I'm sure the shopping is all due to the Jones Act. BUT...so what is cheap in Puerto Rico? But I also read that few vegetables and fruits due to Jones Act. Much of the foods look fried? Looks tasty but predominately put in a fryer.

What's the affordable things in PR? Beaches, I'd imagine. Rents perhaps?
If you want and can only afford "cheap," Puerto Rico may not be a recommendable vacation destination.

Insofar as what's "cheap" in PR, well, I was gonna suggest "chinchorrear." But then again, that requires renting a car which is not cheap.

If you decide to visit PR on a shoestring budget, take a backpack, pack a sack lunch, take plenty of water, and visit a few sights via public transportation (i.e., carro publico). That's about as dirt "cheap" as it gets there.

BTW, I have vacationed and traveled through the Philippines a few times. And yes, the cost of services, accommodations, and amenities are ultra-affordable when converting from dollars to pesos. I specifically recall one weekday evening. Around 9 pm, our host asked, "would you like to get a massage?" I responded, "Isn't it late to go out looking for a massage parlor?" The host says, "We don't go to them. They come to us." A half-hour later, three masseuses walked in, each with their own folding massage table. Each of us got a 1.5 hour massage. Cost per massage including tip? $11 US dollars. I gave the masseuses $45. They were very grateful.
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Old 06-29-2021, 01:36 AM
 
Location: Macao
16,207 posts, read 39,527,844 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chacho_keva View Post
If you want and can only afford "cheap," Puerto Rico may not be a recommendable vacation destination.

Insofar as what's "cheap" in PR, well, I was gonna suggest "chinchorrear." But then again, that requires renting a car which is not cheap.

If you decide to visit PR on a shoestring budget, take a backpack, pack a sack lunch, take plenty of water, and visit a few sights via public transportation (i.e., carro publico). That's about as dirt "cheap" as it gets there.

BTW, I have vacationed and traveled through the Philippines a few times. And yes, the cost of services, accommodations, and amenities are ultra-affordable when converting from dollars to pesos. I specifically recall one weekday evening. Around 9 pm, our host asked, "would you like to get a massage?" I responded, "Isn't it late to go out looking for a massage parlor?" The host says, "We don't go to them. They come to us." A half-hour later, three masseuses walked in, each with their own folding massage table. Each of us got a 1.5 hour massage. Cost per massage including tip? $11 US dollars. I gave the masseuses $45. They were very grateful.
Yeah, that's my problem. I've lived in Asia for 26 years...and it's absolutely filled with a gazillion amenities for next to nothing. I can view Bali right now, and see 500 hotels for under $10...Thailand, and you'd see 1000s. I usually go for the $25-35 range and you are getting something real nice in amazing locations.

So yeah, viewing Puerto Rico, I can definitely see hotel prices are Caribbean or New York prices or something or another. No deterrent in visiting, but I do sometimes think of relocating back to the U.S. with PR as a potential future retirement destination, but it may be out of that range.

The mountain towns of PR look amazing though as potential future relocation possibilities for the someday twilight years... But Asia....can't beat life over here - everything for nothing. So, I dunno.
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Old 06-29-2021, 01:39 AM
 
Location: Macao
16,207 posts, read 39,527,844 times
Reputation: 9960
Quote:
Originally Posted by hindsight2020 View Post
With the lowest per capita income of any state of comparable population, housing costs and rents are depressed, with a rapid inflection upwards to CONUS levels of cost the closer you get to the govt work centers of Santurce and old San Juan.

Lodging is artificially low capacity compared to lesser Antilles and the DR, which increases the nightly cost. Way overpriced in my opinion as a native. Even Puerto Ricans travel to the DR for a cheaper resort like getaway, if that tells you anything. If it wasn't for the fact I still retain family lodging (both parents remain in the island post retirement) I'd never visit.

Food is relatively cheap, outside the tourist traps. Property taxes are cheap. That's about the only thing I consider cheap vs a mainland existence. Everything else is on par to higher, when adjusted to median income. Income taxes are Literal get out of town high (ask me how I know), unless you're a favored carpetbagger mainlander act 20 baby, but I digress on that.

Personally, I don't want PR to become another towel handing second class servant island for overweight western tourists. I want it to regain a foothold in us salaries and training, just like it did during the 936 days. Hawaii has the military industrial complex and a more comprehensive embrace of English for commerce (plus that little thing called statehood) to float the first world living conditions of their native Hawaiian population. Sure, they fold towels too, but it's not their main economic staple. I want the same for the kids of PR. If that means it doesn't compete with the rest of the European Union client states we call the chiclet box of the lesser Antilles, so be it.
Yeah, you are right about all of that. You make a strong argument for statehood as well. It would be interesting to see some changes somewhere. It doesn't seem like it's economically/financially viable with that way it is at the moment. Who knows though...
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Old 06-29-2021, 08:42 AM
 
2,961 posts, read 954,166 times
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TigerBeer - there is no logic in comparing a US territory with any Asian nation, in terms of rooms or anything else. For one thing, Puerto Rican minimum wage is tied to the US. With nothing but THAT information, you can expect visiting PR to cost the same as visiting Texas or Georgia or Ohio. The Dominican Republic (being entirely its own nation) is - like hindsight pointed out - a (much) cheaper alternative, depending on what you will tolerate - both in rooms and in surrounding poverty.


Having said that - there are bargains to be found. Puerto Ricans purchase affordable food - they are not all wealthy, obviously. San Juan is a tourist area and a metropolis - everything is expensive there, including drinks.



Those prices, though, are not typical of the rest of the island - but still - there is NO PLACE on the Island that will be
priced like Bali or Thailand or Indonesia. Because it's the USA. (...in costs, at least...)
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Old 06-29-2021, 12:14 PM
 
7,458 posts, read 10,528,937 times
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PR has always been on the more expensive side when it comes to tourism relative to many other destinations in the Caribbean. The fact that most hotels are not all inclusives alone makes vacationing in PR more expensive.

A few years ago the Spanish hotel chain Sol Melia open a Paradisus Resort in PR under the all inclusive model and it offered what was one of the more expensive all inclusive packages in the Caribbean, not being able to fully compete with other islands. I don't know if Sol Melia still has that resort or if it's still in the all inclusive model.

One of the issues with that model as far as costs is concerned was that basically all the food it offered had to be imported, because PR hardly produced anything for the hotel. High electricity costs along with labor costs and a few other things basically doomed the place. I don't see how PR can be a cost effective destination. People that visit PR do it because they want to visit PR more so than money issues.



On a side note, in the past San Juan was a popular shopping destination particularly for the Dominican middle class, but now it's basically unheard of to travel to San Juan exclusively for shopping. Everybody in certain circles in Santo Domingo knew of Plaza Las Américas. That was like a mecca for people. lol People do travel to San Juan for Caribbean cruises, but most Caribbean based cruise lines start from San Juan anyway.

The Puerto Rico Comercial Office in Santo Domingo was responsible for promoting Puerto Rico as a tourist destination and apparently they still exist. From my understanding, the PR government open those offices in places with a sizeable interchange with PR (in 2017 they closed all the commercial offices in Spain, New York, Colombia, Panama and Peru; except the office in Santo Domingo). I have no idea if afterwards new ones were open elsewhere (https://cb.pr/anuncian-cierre-de-cin...n-el-exterior/). According to that article, the reason they didn't close the Dominican office was because it was the only one producing significant amounts of money for PR (around US$1 billion at that time, could be more now). They also encourage the export of Puerto Rican products to sell in the DR, as well as investments. (https://www.ddec.pr.gov/oficina-come...ca-dominicana/)

Last edited by AntonioR; 06-29-2021 at 01:20 PM..
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Old 06-29-2021, 03:38 PM
 
2,860 posts, read 632,330 times
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You can't have it both ways. The reason Puerto Rico is more expensive than Latin America is because they pay with the U.S. Dollar and are under the protection of federal labor laws which most of these 3rd world countries don't have and only dream they have. If Puerto Rico wanted $3 an hour and no benefits they would have demanded independence from 1898-1917.



I knew this was coming when I was a kid. If standards goes up so does services and pay and benefits. Somebody has to pay for it. Some people act surprised. I don't. I knew this was coming. You want the U.S. standards well this is part of it.


I worked at hotels in P.R. and the states when I was really young and I know how it works. Hotels in P.R. like the U.S. are more expensive because you have to pay the Housekeepers $10 to $12 an hour plus their medical and a % of their social security and unemployment tax that every American who has employees has to pay every month. That's just housekeeping which you need to run an hotel. Then the staff and service. Most of those employees are unions. Adds up.


I have no problem why P.R. is more expensive than Cuba or D.R., it's night and day if you are an employee.
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Old 06-29-2021, 04:57 PM
 
3,377 posts, read 3,820,907 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SanJuanStar View Post
You can't have it both ways. The reason Puerto Rico is more expensive than Latin America is because they pay with the U.S. Dollar and are under the protection of federal labor laws which most of these 3rd world countries don't have and only dream they have. If Puerto Rico wanted $3 an hour and no benefits they would have demanded independence from 1898-1917.



I knew this was coming when I was a kid. If standards goes up so does services and pay and benefits. Somebody has to pay for it. Some people act surprised. I don't. I knew this was coming. You want the U.S. standards well this is part of it.


I worked at hotels in P.R. and the states when I was really young and I know how it works. Hotels in P.R. like the U.S. are more expensive because you have to pay the Housekeepers $10 to $12 an hour plus their medical and a % of their social security and unemployment tax that every American who has employees has to pay every month. That's just housekeeping which you need to run an hotel. Then the staff and service. Most of those employees are unions. Adds up.


I have no problem why P.R. is more expensive than Cuba or D.R., it's night and day if you are an employee.
Well stated. Tried to rep you but, as we know, it's not allowed on a consecutive basis.

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Old 06-29-2021, 06:23 PM
 
7,458 posts, read 10,528,937 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SanJuanStar View Post
You can't have it both ways. The reason Puerto Rico is more expensive than Latin America is because they pay with the U.S. Dollar and are under the protection of federal labor laws which most of these 3rd world countries don't have and only dream they have. If Puerto Rico wanted $3 an hour and no benefits they would have demanded independence from 1898-1917.
Ecuador and El Salvador comes to mind of countries that pay in US Dollars.

Can't speak about benefits and labor laws in those two countries, but at least in the DR they exist. Employees even pay into retirement pensions. No federal labor laws from the USA because it isn't within the jurisdiction, but there are labor laws imposed by the Dominican government. For example, Dominican labor laws make it harder for a company to fire an employee than in the USA, where it varies depending on the state, but it's still harder for a company to fire an employee in the DR than anywhere in the USA. Not sure if it's harder than in PR.

Wages are in general lower than in PR in most sectors and definitely in tourism (the main driving force is supply and demand of the labor and productivity), but all in all the added costs of each employee to a company can be as much as the wage itself, meaning that the full costs to firms on a per employee is much greater than many would anticipate. The company has to pay the wages and then the added benefits/retirement funds/etc.

This only apply to legal labor (as is probably the case everywhere). Not only are illegal workers not subject to labor laws, companies don't have the added costs on each illegal employee as it does to legal ones.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SanJuanStar
I knew this was coming when I was a kid. If standards goes up so does services and pay and benefits. Somebody has to pay for it. Some people act surprised. I don't. I knew this was coming. You want the U.S. standards well this is part of it.
To extent that can be it, but there are things about PR that aren't like the USA. For example, the largest employer in PR is the PR government while on mainland USA the private sector is the largest employer. Also unemployment and public assistance is much higher in PR than on mainland USA.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SanJuanStar
I worked at hotels in P.R. and the states when I was really young and I know how it works. Hotels in P.R. like the U.S. are more expensive because you have to pay the Housekeepers $10 to $12 an hour plus their medical and a % of their social security and unemployment tax that every American who has employees has to pay every month. That's just housekeeping which you need to run an hotel. Then the staff and service. Most of those employees are unions. Adds up.


I have no problem why P.R. is more expensive than Cuba or D.R., it's night and day if you are an employee.
Don't know about Cuba, but many of those things exist in the DR. Income taxes is only applied after a certain wage or salary level, but even those who income taxes are applied to, in the DR an income taxed employee would still take home around 70% to 80% of their earned income while in the USA, depending on the bracket, take home pay after taxes is around 60% of wages/salaries. Don't know the situation in PR.

From a business point of view, profit margins are higher in the DR in most sectors than in the USA. It's virtually unheard of to find any business opportunity in the USA with a profit margin higher than 3% or 4%, while in the DR 8% to 10% isn't that rare. In some sectors it can reach ridiculous levels, though they are dropping. About 10 to 15 years ago it was normal for 60% of the price of condos would be pure profit for the builder. Now it's less than that, but still much higher than the similar sector in the USA.

I haven't seen any studies on the construction/real estate industry in PR, but profits may be higher thsn in mainland USA but nowhere as high as in the DR right now. Maybe in 20 to 30 years the DR's construction/real estate industry would have profit levels similar to PR (assuming it's higher there thsn on mainland USA).

Last edited by AntonioR; 06-29-2021 at 06:34 PM..
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