About 133,000 tourists arrived in Manta between January 2018 and March 2020.
The last time a cruise ship arrived at the port of Manta was on March 20 of last year. Since that date, this Manabi city, which has been characterized by having that kind of international tourism, saw the arrival of foreigners ceased and therefore the economic income for services that are offered to them by the inhabitants of the city and neighboring cantons.
After overcoming and maintaining controls to prevent the presence of the COVID-19 virus, it is expected that next Friday, December 17, the Silver Moon ship will arrive, with about 83 passengers, who will enjoy a day of visit in the city and neighboring towns where handicrafts are made as in Pile and La Pila, in Montecristi.
Roberto Salazar, president of the Manta Port Terminal (TPM), in charge of controlling the arrival of international ships and the cruise terminal in this city, confirmed that the arrival of the ship of more than 40,000 tons, which belongs to the Silversea company, which is based in the Principality of Monaco.
“This is the first ship that again in a pandemic period, where there were all these cancellations, would again arrive in Manta, but we already have six more ships for 2022 that have already confirmed the itinerary, and for 2023 we have 17, that is, a recovery will come to the extent that this new strain (omicron) does not complicate the current situation, ”said Salazar.
Cruises have permission to re-enter Ecuadorian ports, but passengers must adhere to the protocol to disembark
According to the statistics of the Manta Port Authority, in 2018 the cruises caused about 90,207 visitors to arrive at this port, in 2019 to about 27,376 and between January and March 2020 about 15,535 users arrived in Manta, after that they were suspended all these activities.
Although the Ministry of Tourism announced that two cruise ships would arrive on Ecuadorian shores this month, at the moment only the Silver Moon has confirmed their arrival in a few days. According to Salazar, the second cruise could not be confirmed because in other Latin American ports there would be some restrictions that would complicate the itinerary of these tourist ships.
Salazar believes that if the incidence of COVID-19 in the world and the new variant decreases, this would cause other tourist vessels to join those that are already scheduled for the next two years.
“Manta has an average annual arrival of between 18 to 20 cruise ships in a normal season. We hope that the itineraries that are carried out well in advance will be reactivated, and we hope that they will be put on the green card confirming their presence in Manta ”, said Salazar. (I)