“I am tourism. I am hurt at the moment”

By | Category: Travel rumblings

This is a line from an e-mail I received this afternoon from a company called Latin Trails which is based in the capital city of Ecuador, Quito.

Galapagos Island penguins. Suerly the Galapagos are on everyone’s bucket list of places to visit. But when will be able to go?

It could have come from any number of tour operators or destinations around the world because they are all suffering. Suffering from something that none of us has seen before – the worldwide shutdown of tourism.

It is showing just how important your and my journey, holiday and visit is and what happens when we don’t travel.

Consequently here is the whole letter, rather plaintive but beautifully written that sums up what tourism is and means and how we are all hurting since we cannot be tourists today.

The current COVID 19 situation is disrupting many things, but one area was the most vulnerable one, that is: tourism and travel around the globe. We can say with confidence that this is unprecedented in many ways. A chain reaction of closing borders and in many cases complete shut downs have taken place in some cases to eliminate the virus and in others to slow it down.

It is our moment to act as tourism’s ambassadors and take action. If all of the jobs that are created from the moment a single booking is confirmed, one big voice would be created and it would say:

“I am tourism. I am hurt at the moment. I am the industry that aims to unite people, unite dreams and share stories and right now I can’t do a single one of them.”

I represent the not just a country or a destination but every airline, small restaurant, hotel, yacht, bus, guide and a full supply chain of people that bring home food to their families. Unlike other industries, I act as a community that gathers families with their dreams, artisans with their work, artists with their art.

At the present moment people cannot travel, many countries have closed borders and everything is being done so COVID19 can be stopped. It is an amazing effort that is coming with a price in search of the greater good, health for mankind.

I understand our dear travellers in their need to stay at home, they are putting their dreams on the side. Of course the first reaction is to cancel their trip and think of traveling later. But, sometimes later can be 6 months, 1 or 2 years or never… this is why I ask you on behalf of local communities, local businesses, travel agents, wholesalers, airlines and the smaller supplier that sells their produce, handcrafts and many other goods that you do not cancel –RE SCHEDULE.

 The lovely destination you planned to visit on vacation will still be there, locals will be waiting with open arms and it will be an amazing vacation as it will have a stronger meaning. Keeping one of the greenest industries alive.

No one saw this coming, not you, not me, not all of our colleagues who already counted on giving out their services. We had already prepared the car that was going to pick you up, we had already prepared the welcome drink at your hotel, the museums had already opened their doors to share their history with you, the local artisans had already prepared to share their past and passion with you. RE-SCHEDULE; because we are still here and we are waiting for you.

Marcel Perkins and the Latin Trails Team


the view to Cotopaxi from Quito
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