Travel specialists The Latin America Travel Company are encouraging would-be holidaymakers to continue travelling right now, where current rules and restrictions allow.
This year has been an incredibly challenging one for tourism and those people, business and countries who rely on it – with many being unable or choosing not to travel through the year.
But as and when destinations are open for visitors, The Latin America Travel Company are taking on the mission of encouraging tourists to get out there and highlighting that in fact right now could be the time to experience a travel opportunity like no other.
With traditionally busy tourist destinations quieter than ever now is the time to see these places in their most natural beauty, without having to fight through the crowds.
In November before the second lockdown in the UK took place, they sent 76-year-old Peter and his wife Minara to Ecuador, and believe the pair were the first UK travellers to visit the country since March.
Peter told The Latin America company that they had a great time saying, “I cannot speak highly enough of our trip to Ecuador. We had a wonderful welcome from everyone and felt perfectly safe. We were the first international tourists staying in our hotels since lockdown, and the Galapagos cruise ship had not sailed since March. Our small group were able to enjoy the nature and wildlife all to ourselves. It must be the best time ever to visit Ecuador and the Galapagos.”
The pair were the first UK tourists which The Latin America Travel Company’s partner hotels and providers in Ecuador have reported having since March.
Figures show that tourists to the Galapagos Islands have dropped 75% in 2020. While visitor numbers sat within the mid 20,000s per month in 2019, in November of this year the island saw less than 1,500 visitors.
Not only does travelling right now provide a wonderful experience for holidaymakers, but it is also bringing much needed revenue to countries who rely heavily on income from tourism.
Eduardo Borja, a naturalist guide in Ecuador, reports, “I have been a National Tour Guide in my beautiful country for the last 35 years.
“All of us in the travel Industry were optimistic for 2020, with solid bookings for the whole year, however the pandemic threw the industry off in all directions.
“Our country is ready and eager to recuperate the time lost due to the pandemic; Ecuador has received the World Tourism Organisation’s Safe Travels recognition.
“The country relies very heavily on international tourism, not only for travel businesses, but especially for those of us who freelance such as tour guides like me who have been without any income for almost nine months now. We do not have unemployment insurance or any other Government assistance.
“When I received notice of having my first British tourists, I was incredibly happy. Good news, finally.”
Meanwhile Antonio Adrian, who is alsoanaturalist guide and photo instructor in the Galapagos says,
“I was happy to sail the Galapagos again; I enjoyed it as much as my fellow travellers, especially after such a long time on dry land.
“Since the closing of the national park in March, freelancers like myself had no work at all.
“I was certainly very happy to see our first British nature lovers take the leap and enjoy a week in our paradise. I am optimistic about the future, since those who really find happiness outdoors are already planning their next trip.”
John Stanley, Founder and Director of The Latin America Travel Company is encouraging people to start planning their travels as he says:
“We absolutely understand that some people are not able or comfortable to travel right now and we fully respect that.
“However, for those people who do want to be travelling right now we are keen to remind Brits that now the lockdown has been lifted international travel is possible, and in fact it may well be the most memorable trip of a lifetime.
“With tourism numbers heavily decreased, now is likely the one and only time to be able to visit some of the world’s most popular destinations and feel like you have the place entirely to yourself.
“We have been helping people to continue to explore the world in 2020 and we will keep on doing so in a safe and sensible manner through the rest of this year and into 2021.
“We are certainly not hibernating right now – we are active, we are taking bookings and we are looking ahead to the future with a positive attitude.”
While it is important that we all stay safe and follow the guidance and restrictions in place, where and when it is possible for us to do so we could be making a difference to so many people around the world.