CNH Tours - Cultural and Natural Heritage Tours Galapagos
Monday October 26, 2020
To AirBnB or not to AirBnB - that is the question!
Today, my former Darwin Station officemate, the charming and brilliant Michael Bliemsrieder posted the text below on the "Realidades Galapagueñas" (Galapagos Realities) FaceBook page. Michael has a bit of the politician in him (he was a recent candidate for the mayor of Puerto Ayora) - identifying issues that concern a lot of Galapagos residents and giving them some public air.
His recent post refers to the new requirement by incoming visitors to have a "safe conduct" in hand prior to boarding a flight to Galapagos. What is a safe conduct? It's an attestation by a registered travel agency or a certified accommodation establishment that the person holding it has indeed reserved services in the islands.
Michael argues that the safe conduct is nothing but a devious way for the government to cut off business for the many informal (AirBnB, VRBO…) establishments in the islands, redirecting it to the formal ones.
Such measures will, by definition, have supporters (a smaller number of hotel owners, travel agencies) and a larger number of detractors (those who are using the AirBnB and such platforms).
It’s not an easy issue to resolve. That’s what politicians are for. Notwithstanding a few edits, thanks to Google for the translation from Spanish
Michael Bliemsrieder's words:
The Ministry of Tourism has declared war on Airbnb. And not just Airbnb.
Under the pretext of a false "tourist reactivation" that does not arrive, they have dedicated themselves to the task of inventing illegal and arbitrary fines, trying to prohibit all types of private leasing and rental, even going so far as to invade private homes, knocking down doors without order of raiding and taking people to the streets, in the best style of Cuban and Venezuelan authoritarian Marxists.
They use their infamous safe-conduct, a document that has no legal basis, that has absolutely nothing to do with the health emergency and that goes against the Constitution, the Civil Code, the Tenancy Law and the Galapagos Law itself, to persecute even people who want to receive their friends and family, and the same agencies that are supposed to issue such a pass.
The useless Ministry of Tourism and its servile officials must understand that they are not policemen, commissioners, criminal or civil judges, or self-erected guards of public morals, and that the abuse of authority and the arrogance of functions will lead them directly to prison.
The people are fed up with the permanent abuse of the corrupt "Ruptura de los 25" regime and the continuous arbitrariness of the Governing Council. Whoever plays with fire ends up burned.