VoyagePort Webinars:

Reactivation of Tourism in the Galapagos – Current Challenges and Solutions

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Missed the last July 15 webinar on Recovery of Tourism in Galapagos?

Watch it here!

Our panelists analyzed the market conditions and trends in July 2021 and concluded:

  • Travelers are very concerned about the dynamic situation of international travel restrictions and the risk of travel interruptions or having to quarantine upon returning home.
  • Ecuadorian operators are doing an exemplary job maintaining infection-free environments, and the Ecuadorian public should be commended for limiting infections by mask wearing and taking the pandemic seriously.
  • Reservations are growing, but trip cancellations and rescheduling for future dates continue to be very common.
  • Last minute reservations have become more and more prevalent.
  • Cruise operators are financially challenged by departures with few passengers, yet they must guarantee departures and flexible rebooking policies in order to satisfy the needs of travelers and compete.
  • There are strong indicators that Ecuador’s mind-share among travelers has increased versus competing destinations in the last months. Panelists believe that this is due to Ecuador’s relatively low infection rate, high vaccination rate, and campaigns such as vaccinating the entire population of the Galapagos and all tourism sector workers.
  • The return of travelers to the Islands appears to be outpacing the availability of flights to Galapagos, and flight prices for non-Ecuadorians are very high. There is currently demand for more flights, more carriers, and ideally a national Ecuadorian carrier that can make routing decisions based upon Ecuadorian national interests and priorities.

Missed the May 27 webinar on Recovery of Tourism in Galapagos?

Watch it here!

Our panelists analyzed the market conditions in May 2021 in the US, UK, and EU and concluded:

  • Travelers from the US are ready to travel now. Demand for this summer (June, July, August) is high and reservations for 2022 and beyond are filling up. Currently, demand for Fall/Winter 2021 is soft.
  • Last minute deals will be very important in 2021 as travelers wait to confirm that they will be allowed to travel.
  • If the Ecuadorian government would drop the requirement of PCR tests for vaccinated travelers (currently required before entering to Ecuador, and a second time before flying to Galapagos), then tourism to Ecuador would increase significantly.
  • During May, 2021, between 1/3 and 1/2 of all Galapagos cruise operators are not answering the phone numbers or emails published on their websites.
  • Only 28% of cruise operator websites provide cabin-level availability information which allows travelers to choose and confirm which trip they want and know the price. 44% have partial availability information, and 28% have no availability information whatsoever on their websites.  
  • Nearly every company in the travel industry is currently understaffed. Massive layoffs accompanied COVID-19, and small teams must do everything. Operators and agents have to do more with less and be more efficient. 
  • Demand may outpace supply for economical Galapagos cruises for much of 2021 due to small operators not accepting future reservations. Land-based tours may grow market share due to lack of economical cruise supply.
  • Accessing future demand is a big challenge for operators, as it is very costly to operate a cruise with low occupancy. Some yachts are consolidating their passengers from multiple vessels into one.  
  • Flight passenger and cargo capacity to the Islands is very limited with reduced flight frequencies and some operators not flying. Additional flights to San Cristobal and Baltra are needed urgently to accommodate demand of international tourists.

Previous panelists have included:

David Horwell, London, UK

Erin Correia, Montana, USA

International Adventure Travel Consultant at Adventure-Life.com. 2020 T+L TOP TRAVEL ADVISOR | GALAPAGOS ISLANDS SPECIALIST 

Jeff Stivers, Seattle, USA

Manager, Product Development at REI Adventures

Marcel Perkins, Quito, Ecuador

Owner of Latin Trails and operator of the Galapagos Seaman, and Galapagos Sea Star yachts. 

Esteban Velasquez, Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos

Owner at Monserrat Galapagos Cruises. CEO at Via Natura Travel Experiences. Manager at Casa Natura Galapagos Lodge.

Gonzalo Risueño, Quito, Ecuador

Business Development Manager, Calipso Galapagos Expedition & Diving. Formerly with WeTravel, GAdventures and Metropolitan Touring. 

Jason Halberstadt, Quito, Ecuador

Your Webinar Host

Founder and CEO of VoyagePort Inc. Founder of Galapagosislands.com, Metamorf Digital Travel Marketing, and VIVA Travel Guides Publishing.

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