Dear Clients and Friends:
And just as we were gazing through our home windows at the unusual traffic-free skies, puzzled by the unpleasant surprise that swept through the globe and keeps unfolding and impacting our everyday lives, someone was flying under the radar at an unprecedented speed: time! And here we are, half-way through the third quarter of 2020. Yet, slowly, good signs of change are coming up on the horizon for our beloved industry that was forced to pull up, put plans on hold, watch, and wait...
Since July 29, Brazil has reopened international air travel to foreign tourists, which had been banned since March. Tourists from all countries may now travel to Brazil as long as they have health insurance for the duration of their trip. And in the wake of this reopening, hotels and tourist attractions are resuming operations, or in the process of doing so, by the end of September. They are all adopting the strict sanitary protocols recommended by the Brazilian Ministry of Tourism. Most of our local partners are also following the Good Sanitary Practices Guidelines for Ecotourism from ABETA, Brazilian Ecotourism and Adventure Tourism Trade Association (available for download in Portuguese here: http://abeta.tur.br/download/manual-de-boas-praticas-sanitarias-turismo-de-natureza/).
According to the Pan American Health Organization, WHO local branch, the peak of the pandemic in Brazil would happen in the current month of August. Their estimations are in alignment with the forecasts of the largest independent platform of health-related data in the country, Funcional Health Tech, whose assessments indicate that 22 of the 26 Brazilian states have already gone through the peak of infections, and the remaining 4 shall reach it by the end of the current month.
At least 4 different vaccines from distinct manufactures are being or will be tested in Brazil until the end of the year. Besides, we are one of the countries with the largest number of doses reserved (220 million in total so far). According to the Ministry of Health, the vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford should arrive here by December, and 15 million Brazilians are expected to receive it before the year comes to an end.
We are also keeping a close eye on the situation in our dear "Old Continent", since a second wave of outbreaks would not only slow down the current restart attempt but also offer us a head start, as the arrival of the virus in Brazil and the unfolding of the subsequent phases happened with a 50-day delay in relation to Europe.
In the meantime, in what is left of the "slow-yet-fleeting" (and challenging!) year 2020, we continue to reflect upon the silver lining learnings the coronavirus crisis has brought, and to work on the prices and conditions for 2021, while eagerly awaiting for an effective response to arrive. You can remain up to date with our latest news and interesting virtual events through our social media accounts. We are confident that 2021 will be much better, especially for our tourism sector which, echoing the words of the current UN Secretary-General, will "(...) promote solidarity and trust - crucial ingredients in advancing the global co-operation that is so urgently needed at this time".
With our warmest and most hopeful regards,
The Gondwana Team