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In isolated Galapagos Islands, coronavirus wrecks tourism-reliant economy


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Here is a news article posted by NBC News: link

 

Apparently there are 50 Flora crew members that have been diagnosed with coronavirus.

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1 hour ago, mahdnc said:

Here is a news article posted by NBC News: link

 

Apparently there are 50 Flora crew members that have been diagnosed with coronavirus.

Wow.   That is over 60% of the crew. 

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I feel so sorry for the residents.  With so many of the crew of the Flora sick, at least it mentions that almost all cases have been mild.  We were supposed to have arrived on March 19, for our cruise on the Xpedition.  Hopefully we'll be able to reschedule once all of this is figured out.  It sounds like the Galapagos residents will be anxious for tourists to return.

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Speaking from a town totally dependent on tourism, there is a positive and negative association with tourism.

In our town, the majority of residents would be more than happy to see tourism deflate by 25% or so.  And my guess is that many of the Galapagos Island residents would feel the same way.  As with many things in life, what makes something good also makes it bad.

 

For many islanders, the pandemic has left them to meditate on their relationships with nature, industry and travel. Some wonder if they should continue to remain so dependent on tourism, while others say it highlights the need for self-sufficiency.

For Cardoso, the answer lies in the story of the finches, penguins and tortoises who share the islands with them.

“We have to put in practice the lesson of our history,” she said. “We have to adapt.”

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On 5/12/2020 at 12:57 PM, Beachlover1989 said:

I feel so sorry for the residents.  With so many of the crew of the Flora sick, at least it mentions that almost all cases have been mild.  We were supposed to have arrived on March 19, for our cruise on the Xpedition.  Hopefully we'll be able to reschedule once all of this is figured out.  It sounds like the Galapagos residents will be anxious for tourists to return.

Sorry to hear that you couldn't go on your Galapagos trip! I hope that you reschedule and get to experience the Galapagos. I am likely in the same situation for July 2020. I am waiting on the official cancelation from Celebrity. May I ask if you received an FCC for your Galapagos cancelation? And were you on a 10-day or 11-day program? I ask because I am on a 10-day and am wondering how Celebrity is calculating the 125% FCC with a cruise + land package.  Thank you.

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And this is going to be the problem. It’s too easy to just say tourists will not be welcome because they will overload the health system but in some  places without them the economy is going to collapse. There is going to have to be some kind of balance moving forward, not going to be easy.

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I also live in a community that relies very heavily on tourism, although fortunately only during "season."  The locals rant about the increased traffic but they forget about the huge contribution to our local economy that these people make.  Yorky is right, there needs to be some sort of balance going forward.  I'm quite thankful we have our snowbirds and no state income tax as a result.

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So sad for those  who are now sick.

Wish the unique Galapagos could have remained pristine...way too late now!

We decided not to visit  yrs ago  to avoid adding to the tourist load,..

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We are looking a Galapagos visit in the next few years.  

 

However, until this virus is under control or a vaccine is available, we not not planning any overseas trips.  Our next trips are in the Summer and Fall of 2021.

 

Even through we are in our early 70s, we are very healthy, says our doctors with no underlying conditions.   I don't want to catch the virus, but even if I did the fatality rate for people my age with no underlying conditions is still very low.

Still, traveling anytime soon is just not worth it, since some countries still require a two week quarantine or the sights that you want to see are just not available.  It is not worth it.

 

I just hope the NCAA doesn't freak out and cancel college football for this Fall.

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17 hours ago, Happy Cruiser 6143 said:

I also live in a community that relies very heavily on tourism, although fortunately only during "season."  The locals rant about the increased traffic but they forget about the huge contribution to our local economy that these people make.  Yorky is right, there needs to be some sort of balance going forward.  I'm quite thankful we have our snowbirds and no state income tax as a result.

Exchanhging your health for a few dollars is non-sensical in my book.  Also live in Florida where snowbirds like to flock during the winter - less expensive local than yours.  Businesses have been built over the years to accommodate the added seasonal population.  Reducing the seasonal flow would downsize some businesses but not all.  Medical facilities would benefit from fewer transients as would security.  Much prefer the "old Florida" over today where lands are being converted to larger roads, pastures and orange groves to trailer parks and small hobbits to provide snowbirds places to fly to during winter months.  If it takes an income tax, so be it.

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4 hours ago, 4774Papa said:

We are looking a Galapagos visit in the next few years.  

 

However, until this virus is under control or a vaccine is available, we not not planning any overseas trips.  Our next trips are in the Summer and Fall of 2021.

 

Even through we are in our early 70s, we are very healthy, says our doctors with no underlying conditions.   I don't want to catch the virus, but even if I did the fatality rate for people my age with no underlying conditions is still very low.

Still, traveling anytime soon is just not worth it, since some countries still require a two week quarantine or the sights that you want to see are just not available.  It is not worth it.

 

I just hope the NCAA doesn't freak out and cancel college football for this Fall.

Wow!  Not dangerous for you to travel but oaky for students athletes to have contact of the worst kind (US football), catch COVID-19 and pass it along to their families, other students and local residents.  College football is not "essential."  It only enhances the wealth of those already wealthy alumni...

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11 minutes ago, Ride-The-Waves said:

Exchanhging your health for a few dollars is non-sensical in my book.  Also live in Florida where snowbirds like to flock during the winter - less expensive local than yours.  Businesses have been built over the years to accommodate the added seasonal population.  Reducing the seasonal flow would downsize some businesses but not all.  Medical facilities would benefit from fewer transients as would security.  Much prefer the "old Florida" over today where lands are being converted to larger roads, pastures and orange groves to trailer parks and small hobbits to provide snowbirds places to fly to during winter months.  If it takes an income tax, so be it.

The fact that we have no income tax here has nothing to do with snowbirds. It’s been in the Florida constitution (no income tax) since the 1920s and our biggest source of income is the Mouse, not grumpy old folks from up north.

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On 5/12/2020 at 7:35 PM, ECCruise said:

Speaking from a town totally dependent on tourism, there is a positive and negative association with tourism.

In our town, the majority of residents would be more than happy to see tourism deflate by 25% or so.  And my guess is that many of the Galapagos Island residents would feel the same way.  As with many things in life, what makes something good also makes it bad.

 

For many islanders, the pandemic has left them to meditate on their relationships with nature, industry and travel. Some wonder if they should continue to remain so dependent on tourism, while others say it highlights the need for self-sufficiency.

For Cardoso, the answer lies in the story of the finches, penguins and tortoises who share the islands with them.

“We have to put in practice the lesson of our history,” she said. “We have to adapt.”

 

I think that comparing tourism income from Asheville to the Galapagos (if that was your intent) is a difficult concept. (FWIW, I had no idea that Asheville's main income was tourism.)  Places on  mainland continents have a huge pool of possibilities for change that those living on isolated islands do not, which really complicates the dilemma.  Having visited the Galapagos I was very impressed with the management of these beautiful islands, but completely understand the desire to maintain that delicate balance. 

 

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49 minutes ago, Swampbabe said:

The fact that we have no income tax here has nothing to do with snowbirds. It’s been in the Florida constitution (no income tax) since the 1920s and our biggest source of income is the Mouse, not grumpy old folks from up north.

 

Not to hyjack but I find your statement fascinating. I had learned that Florida receives over 50% of its state revenue through Ad Valorum taxes; sales, tax, excise tax, property tax and licenses. Can you cite me your source please?  

 Another Grumpy Old Folk from up north.

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23 minutes ago, sippican said:

 

I think that comparing tourism income from Asheville to the Galapagos (if that was your intent) is a difficult concept. (FWIW, I had no idea that Asheville's main income was tourism.)  Places on  mainland continents have a huge pool of possibilities for change that those living on isolated islands do not, which really complicates the dilemma.  Having visited the Galapagos I was very impressed with the management of these beautiful islands, but completely understand the desire to maintain that delicate balance. 

 

Actually you can compare.  Asheville's economy is driven by tourism probably as much as anywhere in the world.  And with thousands of new hotel rooms currently under construction, would require many years to reconfigure that economy.  Although Amazon is coming here with a distribution slot adding a whopping 200 jobs.

Here, tourism is really the only game in town.  For example, the metro area would likely eclipsed 12 million visitors this year without COVID-19 (over 11 million last year).  For perspective, the visitation to ALL the Hawai'an Islands last year was just over 9 million.  With lots more population.  And yet everyone would concede their income is virtually all tourism based.

 

For an excellent take on the balance between tourism and maintaining balance, I recommend Eating Up Easter, a film released in March of this year and looking at the issue with Easter Island. 

 

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54 minutes ago, sippican said:

 

Not to hyjack but I find your statement fascinating. I had learned that Florida receives over 50% of its state revenue through Ad Valorum taxes; sales, tax, excise tax, property tax and licenses. Can you cite me your source please?  

 Another Grumpy Old Folk from up north.

You can imagine how much of Florida's revenue from those sources is derived from the theme parks and the nearby hotels, restaurants, lesser attractions, convention centers, stadiums, stores, outlet malls etc. in the Orlando area. It must be a substantial percentage of the total. With the theme parks closed, all of the others suffer at the same time.

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42 minutes ago, ECCruise said:

Actually you can compare.  Asheville's economy is driven by tourism probably as much as anywhere in the world.  And with thousands of new hotel rooms currently under construction, would require many years to reconfigure that economy.  Although Amazon is coming here with a distribution slot adding a whopping 200 jobs.

Here, tourism is really the only game in town.  For example, the metro area would likely eclipsed 12 million visitors this year without COVID-19 (over 11 million last year).  For perspective, the visitation to ALL the Hawai'an Islands last year was just over 9 million.  With lots more population.  And yet everyone would concede their income is virtually all tourism based.

 

For an excellent take on the balance between tourism and maintaining balance, I recommend Eating Up Easter, a film released in March of this year and looking at the issue with Easter Island. 

 

Add to that many of the summer camps in Western NC being closed this summer, and the traffic in the area could be further cut.

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5 minutes ago, taxatty said:

Add to that many of the summer camps in Western NC being closed this summer, and the traffic in the area could be further cut.

Yes.  We are looking forward to it.

We've been supporting our local businesses and look forward to doing it this summer.  Tourism here is never going away, we understand that, but it will be nice to get our own town back, even if for a limited time.

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45 minutes ago, ECCruise said:

Yes.  We are looking forward to it.

We've been supporting our local businesses and look forward to doing it this summer.  Tourism here is never going away, we understand that, but it will be nice to get our own town back, even if for a limited time.

Yep. Maybe it will be easier to get a reservation at the Admiral or Curate this summer (we have a home in Hendersonville) 😅

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@ECCruise,

 

my wife's family is from Asheville and that is where we got married some 34 years ago.  They lived in Weaverville where her grandparents owned a small motel (there's that tourism connection).  Her parents now live over in Etowah.

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18 hours ago, Ride-The-Waves said:

Wow!  Not dangerous for you to travel but oaky for students athletes to have contact of the worst kind (US football), catch COVID-19 and pass it along to their families, other students and local residents.  College football is not "essential."  It only enhances the wealth of those already wealthy alumni...

Yes,

You may thing sports are unnecessary, but sports mean a lot to most Americans.   Coronavirus is not a threat to young people.  I seem to really that there have been one fatality for people under 22 in the USA and that was a person with underlying conditions.

 

As for catching the virus, that can be closely monitored with testing.   As for transmitting the virus to Seniors or those with underlying condition, that can be handled very easily.   It is very likely that schools and Universities in most of the USA will open in the Fall.  With your logic, Universities should not open until  (???).  Yes, tell us when you think schools and Universities should open.

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17 hours ago, sippican said:

 

Not to hyjack but I find your statement fascinating. I had learned that Florida receives over 50% of its state revenue through Ad Valorum taxes; sales, tax, excise tax, property tax and licenses. Can you cite me your source please?  

 Another Grumpy Old Folk from up north.

Sales tax, hotel taxes, rental car taxes are generated from the tourism industry and we depend on it. Not sure what you don’t understand.

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2 hours ago, Swampbabe said:

Sales tax, hotel taxes, rental car taxes are generated from the tourism industry and we depend on it. Not sure what you don’t understand.

 

You cited "the Mouse" specifically. I was looking for verification that Disney (as opposed to other theme parks, beaches, spring break, key west, Gulf Coast, Miami, snopwdird migration, etc.) contributed the major portion of ad valorum taxes in the state. Just curious.

 

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2 hours ago, 4774Papa said:

Yes,

You may thing sports are unnecessary, but sports mean a lot to most Americans.   Coronavirus is not a threat to young people.  I seem to really that there have been one fatality for people under 22 in the USA and that was a person with underlying conditions.

 

As for catching the virus, that can be closely monitored with testing.   As for transmitting the virus to Seniors or those with underlying condition, that can be handled very easily.   It is very likely that schools and Universities in most of the USA will open in the Fall.  With your logic, Universities should not open until  (???).  Yes, tell us when you think schools and Universities should open.

 

I am a senior, and I'd like to be able to go out and about confortably at some point. So please tell me your plan to address transmitting the virus to me? Which you claim above can be handled very easily.

 

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