Quito: Tourism rebounded in Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands in 2022, with a total of 267,688 visitors, close to the pre-Covid levels of 2019, it was announced
The Galapagos National Park (GNP), which manages the islands, posted the figure on its Twitter account, saying that the number shows the arrival of tourists in the archipelago is 1 per cent away from reaching the figures recorded in 2019, the last pre-pandemic year, reports Xinhua news agency.
In 2019, the islands located in the Pacific Ocean received 271,000 visitors, but that figure plunged to 73,000 at the onset of the pandemic in 2020.
In 2021, 136,000 tourists visited the islands, a figure that almost doubled in 2022, with 54 per cent being foreigners (145,445) and 46 per cent, nationals (122,243), according to the GNP.
Located about 1,000 km from continental Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands were declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1978.
The Galapagos archipelago composed of 127 islands, islets and rocks, of which 19 are large and 4 are inhabited, is known as the unique ‘living museum and showcase of evolution’.
The Islands’ unusual plant and animal life, such as marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, giant tortoises, huge cacti, endemic trees and the many different subspecies of mockingbirds and finches, inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection following his visit in 1835.