January 6, 2012
The Ecuadorian tourism authorities and private entrepreneurs are looking at 2012 with optimism, as the forecast for the New Year looks promising in many ways. Ecuador will increase its investment in national and international tourism promotion, to benefit from the steadily increasing prestige which the country has been earning as a new, varied, exotic, secure, amazing and friendly tourism Destination.
Raving reviews from visitors on popular travel websites, along with a high profile presence in the most important annual International Tourism Fairs and Encounters, worldwide, are making Ecuador an emerging prime destination in South America. Two World Cultural Heritage Site Cities, including the first ever (Quito, the country’s capital, 1978); three World Natural Heritage Sites, including the first ever (the famed Galapagos Islands, 1979); the awesome Avenue of the Volcanoes; the pristine beaches and picturesque villages along the Pacific Coastline; the superb biodiversity of the Amazon Rainforest (a brand-new Natural Wonder of the World); dozens of National Park and Ecological Reserves; seventeen living cultures; delicious gastronomy and top-quality infrastructure and facilities are making of Ecuador, the country in the Middle of the World, the Equator, a new and intriguing destination sought by voyagers from around the world, looking for new and memorable travel experiences.
Fresh statistical figures show an increase of international visitors, of nearly 10%, in closing 2011, as compared with 2010. Effectively, while In 2010 Ecuador received 1.044.000 foreign visitors; the official figures provided at the end of 2011 shows 1.130.000 international voyagers, who pumped almost 800 million dollars into the country’s economy. The forecasted number of foreign visitors for the end of 2012 is of some 1.220.000 voyagers. Complying with the objectives of the country’s Tourism Marketing Plan 2010-2014, all indicators point in the direction of Ecuador receiving the 1.5 million foreign visitors and over one billion dollars in tourism expenditures by the end of 2014, which the Plan expects.
In addition to the international visitation, the internal or domestic tourism has been growing at a stunning pace. While processed and officially registered figures are not readily available (and are not accounted for within the international figures, of course); there is an evident trend among Ecuadorian nationals to travel heavily to the country’s numerous, diverse, exciting and quite close to each other, tourism destinations, on the four very distinct and different geographical regions, ecosystems and culture hubs which the country boasts on its small territory. Increasingly better roads, easy connectivity and lodging facilities are prompting thousands of families to enjoy the nation’s own attractions, particularly on Holidays; regular weekends and vacation periods. One of the “hot times” for internal travelling is precisely the one associated with the Year End and New Year’s celebrations, a fantastic carnival of lights, sounds, music and, most importantly, ancient, curious and colorful traditions coming alive year after year along the country’s regions, cities, resorts and villages . Preliminary estimates show that more than 1.5 million Ecuadorians travelled throughout the country, during these recent Holidays.
With such a promising outlook, the Government of Ecuador has committed to supply higher resources both to promote the country, especially on key international supplying markets and special interest niches; but also to continue improving the road, railroad, marine and river port facilities, air transportation and facilities as well as professional training at all levels, throughout the country. Ecuador also seeks to retain and continue to hold a leading position as a country which practices and fosters sustainable tourism; good social and environmental practices and privileges quality and responsibility, above monetary considerations.