In the absence of foreign travellers from Europe, the United States, Canada or Japan, tourism in South America is unble to hide its fragility going through the coronavirus pandemic, which has caused a major drop in visitors, it was reported. And there's not a single sign of recovery before 2022, according to industry analysts.
But some countries have done better than others. Chile suffered only a 25% decrease in the number of tourists, closely followed by Argentina and Colombia. But Peru and Ecuador recorded 73% and 70% fewer international visitors respectively, while Venezuela's political and economic instability together with a sanitary crisis saw its already fledgling tourism industry continue to fall by 71%.
Widespread corruption and high crime rates also play a part in the travel plans of those who still agree to put up with covid tests plus quarantines on arrival and wearing masks all throughout flights. At any rate, South America’s tourism industry’s recovery will depend largely on freedom of movement, infrastructure and the economic costs of travel, experts have forecast.
The United States' State Department has reassessed the region and the entire South American continent currently falls into the worst category: RED (or 4),meaning DO NOT TRAVEL, while other tourist attractions such as the Mayan Riviera area are only YELLOW (or 2), just exercise increased caution.
But countries with a diversity factor; that is, with different geographical landscapes seemed to fare better than more centralized areas in South America, slowing the tourism decline over 2020. Chile and Argentina have diverse climates ranging from desert landscapes, vineyards, rainforests, beaches, glaciers and mountains and these landscapes have purpose-built resorts and infrastructures which attract cruise, skiing, gastronomic, backpacking and beach tourists, to name a few. As such, tourism in these regions only fell by 25%.
Location will continue to be an essential factor in destination recovery. For example, Colombia can attract tourists from the US through short flight times and low-cost air tickets. Last but not least, curfews and other restrictions on the circulation of people plus mandatory quarantines at the traveler's expense on arrival will also reshape the scenario in the coming months.