Boat itineraries in Galapagos are currently undergoing changes. The Galapagos National Park held a meeting at the end of January with travel industry representatives. During the meeting, the Park emphasized the need to reduce the impact of visitors at certain sites, including Hood, Tower, Bartolome, North Seymour, South Plazas and Punta Espinosa.
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In attendance were members of ASOGAL, CAPTURGAL (the Galapagos Chamber of Tourism), and ADATUR (Galapagos Boat Operators). All agreed that sacrifices would have to be made in order to keep the islands healthy for the future.
Small boat itineraries have been the first to be affected. Larger boats (with 48 or more passengers) will also be affected, although changes to their itineraries have been delayed for several months.
The National Park plans to strictly regulate requests for special itineraries. It said that changes to a yacht''s approved itinerary would not be made unless compelling reasons existed. By 2007, special itinerary requests will need to be submitted no less than eight months in advance for consideration.
Other measures are being looked into to remove impact at the most visited sites, especially those in the central part of the archipelago.