Easter Island is on the verge of economic collapse due to lack of tourism after being closed for almost two years due to the pandemic. Authorities again postponed the reopening to tourism because of the new COVID variant, Omicron.
Since the beginning of the Covid pandemic in March 2020, the destination has not received international tourists to avoid contagion. However, due to the absence of tourism, the island's inhabitants are on the verge of economic collapse.
Authorities pointed out that the Rapa Nui tribe was even forced to reinvent itself and return to bartering in order to survive.
Residents expected the reopening of their borders in February 2022 after voting in favor in November of last year. However, due to the rapid progress of the Omicron variant, Easter Island decided to delay the reopening until further notice.
Petero Edmunds, mayor of Easter Island, assured that he and the inhabitants of the island want to reopen to tourism after almost two years.
Meanwhile, the Federation of Tourism Companies of Chile (Fedetur in Spanish), asked the tribe to set a date to reopen the borders. "There is no longer anything that can help them now as there is no economic activity that can withstand being practically two years out of operation," said Fedetur.
Before the pandemic, Easter Island received about 150,000 international tourists each year and 90 percent of its population profited from the tourism sector. Therefore, the effects of restricting tourism activities affected the residents of the Chilean destination to a large extent.