I’ve writers bloc so thought instead I’d write a post about how I envisage the region to be travel and destination wise in 2020. We’ll see if any of these come true.
1. The Galapagos Islands becomes off limits to all but scientific tourists due to the environmental degradation caused by hordes of tourists who descended onto the archipelago during the previous decades. The Ecuadorean government recognizes their past mistakes in not effectively limiting the number of visitors and decides to ban all tourists for 5 years to allow the islands to recuperate.
2. Colombia shakes off it’s bad image and becomes Latin America’s most popular tourist destination.
3. Machu Picchu no longer is the attraction it once was as large parts of the ruins fall of the sides of the mountain due to the environmental degradation caused by the tourists hordes of the past. Instead, most visitors to Peru now head to the North of the country to experience the finest Incan ruins, many of which are only recently discovered.
4. The South American equivalent of EasyJet appears, offering all sorts of dirt cheap flights from and to remote and random corners of the continent.
5. US sanctions against Cuba have finally been lifted, and the country is over-run with package tourists and property speculators.
6. The UN imposes sanctions against Venezuela after the country’s totalitarian regime annexes a large part of neighbouring Guyana and starts developing nuclear weapons. Only the most intrepid of travellers venture to Venezuela, whose tourist industry lies in ruins. [ed - I very much hope this one doesn’t happen!]
7. Panama is over-run with baby boomer retirees, and the country is by far the richest in Latin America.
8. The Amazon rainforest has become the new “must visit (before it’s all gone)” tourist destination. Only Colombia and Ecuador have much Amazon rainforest left - that of Brazil, Bolivia and Peru is mostly gone.
9. Haiti is the new “trendy” destination to visit in the Caribbean.
10. The “war of the carnivals” has begun, with both Rio and Barranquilla (Colombia) vying to be the most visited (by tourists) carnival in South America. Rio normally wins, but Barranquilla is gaining on it year on year.
Barranquilla Carnival (Colombia)