travel economic impacts
Ecuador, a relatively small nation (about the size of Nevada), packs a wallop for its size — offering a remarkably diverse set of natural and cultural attractions.
I’ve been lucky enough to travel to all four of its main regions: The Andes (including the colonial-era city of Quito); the Amazon basin; the Pacific coast, anchored by the city of Guayaquil; and the Galapagos Islands, 600 miles out in the ocean. All are memorable.
In this informative and engaging piece, contributing writer Robert Waite continues his recent journey through Ecuador by taking us to Yasuni National Park and the Napo Wildlife Center deep in the Amazon rainforest. Here’s his report:
By Robert Waite
Yasuni Park, Ecuador – There are two indigenous tribes located in Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest, the Tagaeri and the Taromenane, who have had virtually no contact with the outside world.
I say “virtually” because there have been… Continue reading
By Bob Waite
There are tragedies far more consequential than the inability of a travel writer to travel.
It’s just that I can’t think of any at the moment.
My travels ended in late January 2020. As related on this site, I visited Japan, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. The month prior I had been in China.
Then the world shut down.
Subsequent planned trips to France, Jordan, Israel, Ecuador, and Panama were all postponed or cancelled. My travel was largely confined to trips to the kitchen for subsistence; to my office to teach my college students remotely; or to the family room to watch sporting events or movies.
The highlight during this period of enforced stasis was the rearrangement of the condiments in our fridge alphabetically, A-Z. And then reversing them.
But — Omicron variant permitting — brighter days have arrived. I have begun traveling again… Continue reading
By Bob Waite
Ottawa – On August 9, 2021, Canada began allowing entry to American citizens and permanent residents currently residing in the United States who have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days prior to entering the country.
The United States, on the other hand, has yet to reciprocate. Canadians continue to be barred from crossing the land border. This despite the fact that Canadian vaccination rates are significantly higher than those of their American counterparts.
So what gives?
In a word, politics.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the border opening not long before calling an election. There seems little doubt that he heeded calls from the tourist and hospitality industries to open things up before the summer slipped completely away.
Politics was also undoubtedly behind the American decision to keep the border shut tight – although it is impossible to get an official U.S. government spokesperson to… Continue reading
After a year when the COVID-19 virus has devastated the world’s tourism industry and thwarted vacation plans of millions of travelers, vaccinations have arrived that offer hope that 2021 may usher in some return to normalcy.
And none too soon for baby boomers, who have seen precious travel time and opportunities slipping away: cruises cancelled, tours postponed, bucket-list destinations closing their borders.
The fact that all this has been necessary to curb the ravages of the killer virus doesn’t make it any less painful — especially when you factor in the economic toll on tourism-dependent destinations. Estimates are that one in ten jobs worldwide are travel- and tourism-related.
And it’s not just airlines, cruise lines and big hotels that are hurting. As Scott Keyes, CEO of Scott’s Cheap Flights, puts it:… Continue reading
You may have experienced it yourself when battling humongous lines to enter San Marco in Venice, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, or the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, or when you found yourself in a wave of fellow travelers struggling to get a peek at the changing of the guard at palaces in London, Athens, or Prague.
You may have been put off by hordes of drunken revelers in Amsterdam, Mallorca, or Berlin (of which, we trust, you were not one yourself).
You may have found small Alaskan ports or Croatian islands too overrun by your fellow cruise ship passengers to appreciate the beauty that attracted you to such cruise itineraries in the first place.
You may have sought out privacy in Iceland’s hot springs, only to find them packed with Game of Thrones fans drawn… Continue reading
According to the National Travel and Tourism Office, there was a four percent decline in the number of international visitors to the U.S. during the first six months of 2017 compared to the first six months of 2016.
And according to a recent International Trade Report released by the Commerce Department, spending by international travelers to the U.S. decreased by 3.3 percent through November 2017 compared to November 2016. Total spending by international travelers to the U.S. came to $246 billion, according to figures from the U.S. Travel Association (USTA), a trade group representing travel industry members.
That 3.3 percent decrease translates to a $4.6 billion loss to the U.S. economy as well as 40,000 jobs in tourism-related industries (hotels, restaurants, transportation, stores, tour operators, travel agencies, etc.)
But the ripple effects… Continue reading