Doubts in Galapagos due to COVID-19 regulations in the US, could affect tourism

Despite the fact that in December the number of visitors to the Galapagos Islands was 6,800 tourists, that number is very far from what was reached before the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: Ricardo Zambrano

Doubts in Galapagos due to COVID-19 regulations in the US, could affect tourism

January 25, 2021 – 00h14

The decision of the newly elected president of the United States, Joe Biden, to require negative PCR tests to all people who enter that country also worries in the Galapagos, as this could cause tourists to suspend their trips to the archipelago.

Norman Wray, president of the Galápagos Government Council, considers it important to establish a private laboratory in the archipelago that charges a “reasonable” price for PCR tests to tourists who need to return to the United States, since citizens of that country occupy an important segment of the visitor numbers to the islands.

“There are tourists who, faced with the decision to require PCR testing and the lack of an establishment on the islands that can provide the service, will decide not to come. We are talking with the Ministry of Health and the private sector to find out how to implement a service of these characteristics, “says Wray.

The visitor curve to the Galapagos has been rising in recent months. In September 2020, the arrival of 1,400 tourists was registered, last December this figure rose to 6,800, but this “is very far from the number of tourists who came before the pandemic.”

To reactivate the economy, according to Wray, they have promoted initiatives where conservation “converges” with the hiring of local labor using funds from the Governing Council, such as the project for the control of invasive species.

“We are handling the concept of green reactivation, but we also want to get international cooperation involved (…). We have worked with the United Nations to pay people and clean up the coast. We have worked on the scientific monitoring of the visitor sites,” he says and adds that there is monitoring by the Galapagos National Park and the Ministry of the Environment and Water. (I)

Read the original coverage from El Universo at

Informing and sharing news on marine life, flora, fauna and conservation in the Galápagos Islands since 2017
© SOS Galápagos, 2021

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