It proposed to authorise air traffic with minimum frequencies at an early stage.
The president of the National Chamber of Tourism (CANATUR), Carlos Canales, warned this Thursday that it is necessary to resume the operation of international flights in the country in order to give a boost to the tourism sector, which has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. In this sense, he proposed that the Government authorize them with minimum frequencies to mitigate the situations of contagion.
“We have to start with very small frequencies in order to continue controlling COVID-19 infections. In addition, it has been proven that the contagion does not occur on airplanes, so we can work in a limited way to inject resources into the local economy,” Canales said.
In this way, he explained that in a gradual way and evaluating the situation at the moment, daily flights could be opened to specific destinations with a correct control of the pandemic. “We could open restricted flights to specific destinations. For example, there are humanitarian flights a week, almost five flights to Miami. Why can’t we have a daily flight to Miami, a daily flight to Madrid, a daily flight to Amsterdam and a daily flight to countries in the region? Panama is opening faster, and then in Argentina, Uruguay or Colombia, when it opens its airports on Sept. 1,” he said.
On the other hand, the president of CANATUR pointed out that although businesses in the tourism sector have opened their doors with the reactivation of productive activities, these establishments have not been receiving clients to generate income. “What good is it for us to have restarted and have hotels, restaurants, travel agencies open if we have no passengers, no guests, no diners. We have to inject the amount of business, of entrepreneurial activities that come with all certainty, with all security to work in our country.
According to the newspaper El Comercio, the executive said he expects the new Cabinet, led by Walter Martos (PCM), to provide the necessary support to the tourism sector. “Martos is a good minister, perhaps the most solid part in terms of what he always communicates. We hope that he can strengthen some of the orders he receives from the government in order to seek health peace of mind. However, as a military man he has to understand that the economy is based on the generation of employment and today the most affected sector of the economy is the tourism sector,” he explained.
Finally, Carlos Canales warned that if measures are not taken in favor of the tourism sector, the country would lose US$ 10 billion this year. “If the airport does not open, the figure could be around US$ 10 billion that will not enter the national economy. This would generate a drop in both incoming tourism, for which nothing has been invoiced since March 15, and domestic tourism, which is not happening today due to the economic crisis,” he said.