41,000 Visitors to Galapagos in First 3 Months of 2009
During the first three months of 2009, the Galapagos National Park Service’s tourism data system registered 41,146 visitors, of which 35,413 intended to tour the protected area of the islands. This figure represents a decrease of 7.5% compared to the same period last year.
In terms of lodging, 49.5% (20,366 visitors) stayed aboard tour boats authorized by the GNPS, 37.7% (15,530 visitors) stayed in hotels, 9.8% (4,045 visitors) stayed with family members, and 2.9% (1,205 visitors) did not specify their intended form of lodging.
During their stay, 86% (35,413 visitors) toured the terrestrial and marine visitor sites of the Galapagos National Park. A visitor site management system establishes different management protocols for each site, coordinates itineraries and a system of certified guides, and monitors tourism operations, as well as a range of physical, biological, and social indicators which help to determine the acceptable carrying capacity of each site.
Foreigners represented 27,037 (66%) of the total visitors to Galapagos during this period, while Ecuadorian nationals represented 14,109 (34%). A total of 4,250 visitors (10% of the total) stayed in urban areas: 3.4 % to work, .08% to conduct business, and .02% for unspecified reasons.
The tourism data system enables the GNPS to monitor the number and characteristics of Galapagos visitors in order to make management decisions that will ensure the conservation of the archipelago’s ecosystems.