Ecuador campaign spotlights sustainability

Ecuador is showcasing its sustainability credentials as part of a new trade marketing campaign in Europe.

Running until December, the initiative includes meetings with the trade, newsletters, presentations, press releases, media interviews, fam trips and attendance by the tourist board at events such as World Travel Market London in November.

The destination also had a presence at last month’s Lata Expo and Global Birdfair – an international birdwatching event in Rutland earlier this month – plus a gastronomic event on July 14 at the embassy of Ecuador in London.

Santiago Granda, head of international promotion at the tourism ministry, said being at Lata Expo in London helped to “consolidate” the presence of Ecuador in the UK and European markets.

“The most important message is that Ecuador is a sustainable destination, a leader in the region, in the new way of doing tourism: more natural, more immersive and inclusive,” he commented.

He said the ministry sees a “close and permanent relationship” with the British trade as “vital” because the UK is the fourth most important market in Europe in terms of arrivals.

In 2019, more than 28,000 Brits visited the South American destination – a total that fell below 2,500 in 2021 amid the pandemic.

Just over half of British holidaymakers take part in adventure tourism activities – and half plan their trip more than five months in advance.

Flights to the capital Quito are available with airlines such as Iberia and Air Europa, via Madrid, or via Amsterdam with KLM. Other options include stopovers in Bogota, Panama or the US.

The most visited provinces include Pichincha – around the capital – and Galápagos (pictured).

UK tour operators which sell Ecuador include Abercrombie and Kent, Cox & Kings, Journey Latin America, Intrepid, Newmarket Holidays and Steppes Travel.

Granda said tourism is “very important” for Ecuador and is part of the country’s Creating Opportunities Plan 2021-2025.

The plan aims to increase foreign exchange income through inbound tourism from $705 million to $2.4 billion, and boost arrival numbers from 469,000 to two million, over the period from 2020 to 2025.

“Tourism is an important source of foreign exchange and has the potential to generate new revenue for our economy,” he added.

Currently, all arrivals to Ecuador over the age of three must present proof of Covid vaccination or a negative test result. They must also present a Traveller’s Health Declaration.

Commenting on the recent lifting of a travel ban, following unrest in Ecuador, Granda said: “The situation has been overcome. Both national and international entities gave the green light for tourism to develop in a normal way, ensuring the safety of visitors. Ecuador welcomes all tourists with open arms.”

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