MIAMI, FLORIDA – These are challenging times for the travel industry as we seek to find balance between caution and hope. Like the rest of the world, the destination of Quito, Ecuador is on pause as countries around the globe seek to safeguard their citizens from the COVID-19 virus.
In alignment with the worldwide “Stay At Home” message, the Ecuadorian capital’s “Your Story Begins in Quito” campaign has temporarily become “Your Story Begins At Home”. This international initiative emphasizes and reinforces the importance of the stay-at-home message to a global citizenry as we all await the world’s reopening.
In preparation for this reopening, the Quito Tourism Board has retained Global Marketing & Sales, Inc., as its public relations and representation agency of record for the Americas. The objective of the engagement is to prepare the destination for reopening, share the destination’s message, and create visibility and presence when it is once again safe to travel.
“This is a very challenging time for humanity,” said Quito Tourism Board General Manager, Carla Cardenas. “In Quito, where we stand in the middle of the world and witness the balance between two hemispheres, between old and new, and between tradition and progress, we understand that we must balance being in the present moment with looking forward. Tourism is a critical driver of our economy and while it is currently not safe to travel, we must be ready to welcome visitors from around the world when it is safe to do so.”
“While this is an extremely difficult time for our industry, those of us who have been around for a while know that this moment will pass,” said Alex Pace, CEO and Founder of GMS, Inc. “Our job is to keep our focus on the future and position our client destinations to be prepared and ready at the starting gate even before the doors reopen.”
“We are extremely proud and honored to be working with such an important destination as Quito, Ecuador,” continues Pace. “They are a cultural and historic flagship in the timeline of civilization. This is highlighted by the City of Quito’s designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site recognized by the United Nations.”
Quito, a city cradled in an Andean valley, is where Old Town Charm meets modernity and where Spanish and European-infused influences blend with an indigenous Incan foundation. These two seemingly different worlds have found harmony in Quito to offer a uniquely balanced cultural, culinary, and soul-enriching experience.
Covid-19 rapid testing requirement is implemented at Quito International Airport
On Monday, May 18, the rapid tests for Covid-19 began at the Quito International Airport. This new procedure, arranged by the National Emergency Operations Committee (COE in Spanish) determined for the arrival of all passengers entering the country on international repatriation flights, is carried out by personnel from the Ministry of Public Health with the support of officials of the Ministry of Foreign Relations.
In order to maintain an orderly process at Quito Airport, Corporacion Quiport has installed 10 temporary testing stations for the sampling of passengers. The first passengers to land in Quito with this new requirement arrived on an Aeromexico charter flight from Mexico City and the testing process for the 120 passengers was carried out smoothly.
Andrew O’Brian, President and CEO of Corporacion Quiport, recalled that since the beginning of the pandemic there has been collaborative work between the Government, the Municipality and Quiport as administrator and operator of the country's main airport.
“We fully understand that our role is to implement the sanitary measures and controls ordered by the COE and provide the facilities within our reach so that they can be carried out in an orderly and safe manner. Once the COE ordered the application of Covid-19 rapid tests for repatriated citizens to Ecuador, we adapted and equipped an area for health personnel to take samples and in a safe, efficient and comfortable manner for the passenger”, explained Andrew O'Brian.
Sandro Ruiz, Manager of the Metropolitan Public Airport Services Company, stated that “the Airport Services Company is willing to collaborate with the resolutions issued by the national COE, proof of this is the correct and orderly compliance with the defined protocols to protect the wellbeing of all. The success of these procedures is thanks to a coordinated action between the Municipality and Quiport, our concessionaire, together with the airport entities”.
Meanwhile, the installation of the equipment and signage required within the plan for the resumption of commercial passenger air transport continues. Quito airport will be ready for the resumption of flights on June 1, pending the approval of the national COE.