Days ago, Isaac received an email with a survey from an airline. In the questionnaire there were questions about whether on the next vacation he would travel more within Ecuador than abroad, if he planned to go to places with fewer people or would opt for alternative tourism, away from the big cities.
He had planned a trip to the United States to visit his brothers, but with the health emergency due to the coronavirus, that idea was changed and now he thinks that it is better to allow some time to see what happens with this pandemic.
Travelers who prefer to defer their vacation plans or people who are more inclined to short trips to domestic destinations rather than going abroad, is what specialists and industry executives foresee that could mark the tourism market in the coming months.
In fact, in Ecuador, which will open its regular operations on June 1, airlines will begin to fly with few local frequencies, which are equivalent to 30% of the usual ones. International routes are tied to the reopening of airports in other countries.
Large lines such as American, KLM, United and others have gradual schedules to return to Latin America with frequency cuts.
The Transport Minister, Gabriel Martínez, pointed out that due to the situation caused by the coronavirus, a contraction in demand is projected. “We hope there will be a 50% reduction in the demand for air transport,” said the official.
Although airlines are offering lower fares and greater flexibility with the ability to change up to twice the date, that appears not to be enough to occupy the planes at the same levels as before COVID-19.
The IATA, a union that brings together the main airlines in the world, anticipated that it will be a slow recovery.
Diego Padula, president of the Association of Travel Agencies, estimated that after the reopening of flights, ethnic traffic will move first, that is, Ecuadorians who will return to the country or leave their places of residence.
The economic factor is another aspect that will reverberate, since many have been affected in this period.
Marco Subía, president of the Association of airline representatives in Ecuador, stated that they hope that the economy will become more dynamic and that people will take confidence that the biosecurity measures that are being applied are adequate to fly safely.
With this ‘new normal’, travel planners and bloggers are advising to take a series of precautions when putting together a trip.
Adriana Hidalgo, blogger and travel planner, indicated that before buying a ticket to a local or international destination, you should find out what is happening in the place you want to visit and see the restrictions they have for tourists. In addition to thoroughly examining ticket and hotel policies.
For her, the best thing in these months is to plan short trips to local destinations to regain confidence and especially because she knows how the health system is operating.
She said there is travel insurance that is not covering COVID-19 cases.
Andrés Garay, blogger and publicist, agreed that it is necessary to thoroughly investigate the management of the health emergency in the country to be visited. He also considered that the traveler who decides to go abroad could have a COVID-19 test before traveling and have the result available in case the country being visited requires it.
Garay advised to preferably use an Airbnb accommodation to have better hygiene control, especially if it is for long periods. (I)
Avianca, Latam and AeroRegional will start their domestic operations on June 1 with fewer flights. The first will have 36 weekly frequencies with flights to Quito, Guayaquil, Coca, Manta. While Latam from Quito will fly to Guayaquil and Cuenca.
Daniel Leng, director of Latam Ecuador, said that they will start with one or two daily frequencies. For international flights from Ecuador, he indicated that this depends on how other countries will open their borders. (I)
Foreigners arriving in Guayaquil must previously undergo a coronavirus PCR test. And at the airport you must undergo a quick test. Whether or not COVID-19 will go to solitary confinement for 14 days, according to the disposition of the Municipality. In the case of nationals they also have to take the test before traveling to the city.
Marco Subía, president of the Association of airline representatives in Ecuador, indicated that these types of requirements could reduce the arrival of visitors. (I)
Travel for work
The pandemic forced many companies to adopt telework. And amid that need, some were able to determine that there are areas that worked well and can
Fernando Fiallos, a lawyer in aeronautical matters, pointed out that this could have an impact on the demand for tickets, especially on routes such as Quito-Guayaquil, where there were people traveling for labor matters.
This is one of the routes in which the most passenger traffic is registered in the domestic market. (I)