Bus Crash in Ecuador. Responding as a Responsible Tour Operator
Sad and shocking news for the tourism industry in Ecuador. Our thoughts are with the families of the victims of this awful accident.
“Four British teenage girls and their tour guide have been killed and another 15 people have been injured in a bus crash in Ecuador, just two weeks into a three-month South American trip….” extract from the Telegraph
Unfortunately most of these accidents occur due to the negligence of untrained drivers of public buses, taxis and trucks. The authorities should take a strong stance on this by forcing drivers follow the law and by training them effectively in traffic safety. Too many untrained and reckless drivers are free to drive anywhere in the country without the proper training, specially bus drivers that cover national routes.
Barefoot Expeditions, as a tour operator can only speak to its own safety standards. Our drivers are professional and have to follow the road safety guidelines we provide. We avoid major highways as much as possible. We always make sure that our cars are in the best shape before, during and after the trips. The cars are subject to routine checks (brakes, clutch, oil, tires) and we make sure the engine is always in great condition. If the group is larger, we always rent specialized tourism buses and vans with professional and careful drivers that we approve for our trips.
This unfortunate event made us think about taking our safety standards one step further.
Barefoot Expeditions has decided that during its Ecuador tours, the company cars will not be in the roads after 6 PM in order to minimize the exposure of our guests to unsafe roads.
We really hope that all tourism agencies and tour operators implement ways to improve the safety of their trips. We are doing our part but we cannot do it alone.