As of November, local and foreign tourists who plan to stay in private homes in the Ecuadorian archipelago of Galapagos require a letter of invitation.
This was confirmed by Lorena Tapia, president of the Governing Council of the Special Regime of Galapagos, who clarified that the measure does not apply to tourists who intend to stay in authorized hotel establishments.
She explained that the requirement is part of an ordinance of entry requirements, approved by the full Council of Government of Galapagos, archipelago located about 1,000 kilometers from the Ecuadorian continental coasts.
The measure entered into force on November 1 and the procedure must be done at least five days in advance of the date on which the guest will travel.
“The letter of invitation is only and exclusively for those who come as guests of temporary or recent permanent residents” in Galapagos, she said.
Tapia, who holds the rank of minister, explained that the temporary resident must extend the invitation letter physically, while the permanent resident can fill out the document online.
“We will work within the medium term so that temporary residents also have the facility and anyone can fill this requirement online,” she said.
The decision was adopted due to immigration issues because they have detected that there are those who say that they will be received in private homes and finally “some and others refuse to know the people”.
“Tourists who record data that is not true generate a problem of lack of control” for the authorities, she added.
In Galapagos a “responsible tourism” is developed and the “issue of migratory control is a condition that Unesco itself asks of Ecuador,” she said.
In 1978, the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Technology (Unesco) declared the Galapagos Islands a Natural World Heritage Site.
According to Tapia, they analyze the possibility that soon tourists will also register online the authorized establishment in which they will stay, which will help the authorities to identify the number of arrivals per island and the most visited hotels, among other topics.
The Galápagos archipelago, also known as the Enchanted Islands, recognized for its diversity of flora and fauna unique in the world, is composed of 13 large islands, 6 small and more than 100 islets and rocks, where you can see marine and terrestrial iguanas, sea lions, finches, herons and other species.
According to the Galapagos National Park, the archipelago is still home to a diversity of animals and plants that cannot be observed in other parts of the planet, with friendly behavior and without fear of humans, which makes them unique.
The islands are considered a natural laboratory that allowed the English scientist Charles Darwin to formulate his theory on the evolution of the species. (I)