Ecuador: an ideal destination for when the virus storm abates. We are now forced to hide, to stay locked up to repel the COVID-19 coronavirus. However, Ecuador would like to remind travellers that it is a destination that is waiting to welcome them again with open arms once this pandemic is receding.
This open invitation is highlighted in a new video which has just been published by the Ministry of Tourism of this picturesque country, urging more and more anxious travelers to keep Ecuador in mind.
Although this promotional clip is missing several points, we wanted to explain five reasons why Ecuador should be selected as a destination once you can start exploring again.
1. A place close to nature and away from the crowds
Here in the pint-sized South American nation of Ecuador, you can find the most incredible nature vacations, where you can stay away from cities and congested crowds that you may prefer to avoid.
As travelers will want large spaces and destinations rich in oxygen, this is precisely what you will discover in Ecuador. In fact, national parks and protected areas represent 27% of the continental Ecuador and 97% of its Galapagos Islands!
Besides the sprawling Amazon rainforest of Ecuador, as well as its magnificent Andean region and the hundreds of kilometres of sunny Pacific coast of the country, the country abounds in astonishing biodiversity in its Galapagos Islands.
Since the four regions of the small country are very close to each other, you could easily visit the “four worlds of Ecuador”, experiencing in a few days what it might take several weeks to see elsewhere.
2. A national hotel industry refining its action
The travel industry in Ecuador is now under incredible scrutiny, with all high-quality hospitality providers already adjusting their operations and standards to ensure the safety of their customers when travel resumes.
With hygiene and sanitation now a top priority, Ecuadorian hotels are looking for ways to further improve their sanitation standards and establish social distancing protocols in their properties. We have already started to see initial improvements, such as the addition of disinfectant wipes in public spaces and outside of elevators, the provision of personal protective equipment to staff and the frequent disinfection of guest rooms with electrostatic sprayers.
Likewise, airlines have started to make significant changes to promote cleanliness, hygiene and safety in consultation with epidemiologists. As the aviation industry tries to find its place, at least in the short term, we will likely see health checks before boarding the airport, in addition to masks for the flight crew and passengers. Yachts are likely to adopt measures similar to those deployed by these airlines, including improved onboard cleaning processes.
3. A friendly destination for families and small groups
Once we finally turn the page on COVID-19, the families will probably have spent months without really having had the chance to spend time together. Indeed, travel specialists expect the post-pandemic world to see that the already growing trend of multigenerational and small group travel has moved to the next level.
This emerging demand is perfectly suited to stays in Ecuador, whose reception infrastructure is designed around these needs. For example, instead of the mega-cruise ships that have hit the headlines for the past few weeks, the main types of sailboats in the Galapagos Islands are luxury yachts with 8 intimate suites, which can be chartered for entire families or groups of friends. Likewise, the many family hotels and lodges in the country are designed not for a thriving crowd, but for couples and small groups of close friends and family.
4. A country with experienced and reliable tour operators
Mainly due to the fact that the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador are among the top four tourist destinations in South America, the country has developed a number of quality tour operators who offer direct bookings. These local tour operators differ from online travel agencies (OTAs) which act as intermediaries to book all kinds of trips in one place.
With these OTA intermediaries, however, what is now becoming apparent is that if something goes wrong when booking through these companies, they become just another cumbersome piece of the puzzle that needs to be resolved. Before a trip is successfully changed or canceled, for example, it can sometimes involve hours of calls to OTA, then to the airline, then to OTA, etc.
With an experienced local Ecuadorian travel provider, you only have their policies to manage and you will have your own personal travel advisor to resolve any issues. The value of this role was highlighted recently when travel counselors were able to intensify their efforts and spend countless hours bringing travelers home.
5. Significant travel possibilities
Before the COVID pandemic, “micro-trips” became a huge trend in which people flew to distant destinations for short periods of time. Such trips were offered by cheap airline tickets and a burgeoning “sharing economy” (like Airbnb, etc.).
Travel experts now believe that adventurers may start considering fewer trips, which are longer and more meaningful. Regions like the Ecuadorian Andes, its Amazon region and of course its Galapagos Islands offer such “pick list” experiences that many of us have been planning and repelling for years.
Now, with this latest and greatest reality test that has shaken us all, people will begin to realize that places like Ecuador – with the diversity of sprawling landscapes, cultures and exotic wildlife (not to mention its amazing food!) – is a destination that ticks all the boxes.
As we know, the travel industry is fairly resilient and should rebound quickly enough to meet some of the pent-up demand from adventurous people who want to hit the road.
Therefore, travelling to Ecuador is a vacation in nature to safely discover the best of South America.