Losses in the tourism sector would come to about $ 1.2 billion due to the coronavirus that has left empty hotels, planes on the ground and confined visitors. It is the estimate that unions make after more than two months of the pandemic.
On the government side, evaluations are still ongoing. In March the impact based on the billing of the Internal Revenue Service (SRI) is $ 236 million . For April, the projection would be around $ 351 million . A similar figure would be in May. The consolidated data would be ready this week.
Tourism Minister Rosi Prado said that food and beverages had a small opportunity to check in and keep jobs for home service.
Another sector that had some activity was accommodation. On April 7, the government called for the hotels that wanted to receive Ecuadorians who came on humanitarian flights to register voluntarily. It was applied to Quito, Guayaquil and Manta. More than 10,000 Ecuadorians came from abroad.
Travel agencies, wholesalers, tourism operators, farms, other hotels had red invoicing.
This is confirmed by Raúl García, president of the Pichincha Chamber of Tourism , who says that inbound tourism, outbound tourism, like domestic tourism, is totally stopped.
He estimates that 200 companies have closed. Some 500,000 people are linked to tourism.
To reactivate the sector, the regime implemented five analysis tables: loss quantification; regulation and protocols, three regulations have been approved. We work in events and meetings, farms, overnight ships and destinations.
The third table is about competitiveness. Another table is promotional. The campaign “Discover Ecuador from home” and the phases “I miss you Ecuador” and “I promise you Ecuador” were implemented , which refers to what was not done and will be done when there is greater openness, to use Ecuadorian products. In the promotional video, Ecuadorian landscapes are projected with the message that they will be toured again.
The last table is territorial, with sectional governments.
García hopes that payments to the SRI, fees, permits, patents, as well as Social Security can be deferred.
Another governmental axis is the Reactívate Ecuador project with 36-month loans, 6-month grace period and 5%.
A preferred line is offered by the National Corporation for Popular Finance for organizations in the financial, popular and solidarity sector. Loans of $ 10 million are available for tourism.
Although the airports will reopen, it is unknown whether there will be movement, because it depends on the demand that the airlines have.
José Egas, former president of the Ecuadorian Association of Travel Agencies, Tour Operators and Wholesalers , believes that the price of tickets will be low and will be an advantage. As an example, according to announcements, he put a Quito-New York-Quito flight under $ 300. Quito-Fort Lauderdale-Quito at $ 180. To Mexico at $ 220. “The expectation of the airlines is to recover some cash and with facilities to buy now and start traveling when you can.”
García adds that when the green traffic lights are passed in the cantons, internal tourism will begin to reactivate, first with excursion visits, going to nearby places. “It will not be so easy either, there are many people who have lost their jobs, others have reduced working hours, there is no liquidity left over, it is a great challenge to activate tourism.”
For Egas, another important factor is the message given abroad: “One day we set a standard, the next we change it, that passengers need to have proof of COVID before entering the country, now that they no longer do. All those messages create confusion. ”