February 18, 2012
In a formal ceremony held a few days ago at one of Quito’s most splendid venues, the colonial Chapel of the City Museum, the Bureau of Ecuador’s capital Historic Center, presented the brand new “Quito City Discover Card”. This is an initiative of the local entrepreneurs who own lodging facilities, restaurants and entertainment establishments; along with institutions who foster cultural activities in the magnificent Historic Center of the City, the first World Heritage Site, so declared by UNESCO in 1978; in order to motivate visitors to spend more time and to use the facilities which the reputedly “largest and best preserved historic center” of the Americas boasts.
Thus, several of the finest boutique hotels which have been established on restored colonial homes and centenary mansions; a large number of restaurants of the city’s colonial quarters, offering from traditional Quiteño to national and fine international cuisine and many of the most renowned Museums, Convents and Theaters have joined together to offer the City Card, which provides users with tempting discounts on shopping; lodging, meals and cultural presentations, shows and events in the capital’s famous and fascinating Historic Center.
The Quito City Discover Card can be bought on-line; at national and international travel agencies and touring companies; Hotel front desks throughout Ecuador; airports and other tourist information centers in the city and in other locations around the country. The Card is either an e-Card, which only with a code number allows you to make use of its benefits at the affiliated establishments, or a physical card, in all cases with a validity of fifteen days from the day of activation of the card’s code. Travelers decide the date which they want to activate the Card, when buying on-line or elsewhere, ahead of the actual visit to Quito.
The idea is to bring in more business into the area, particularly to enjoy it by night, when the four hundred year old churches, with their domes and towers as well as the historic buildings, squares, fountains and monuments are beautifully illuminated, giving the city a spectacular and truly magic aura. The institutions and entrepreneurs involved on the initiative are excited and optimistic about this new marketing tool, devised to boost tourist’s visitation to the splendid Historic City Center, day and night.
During the Card’s launching ceremony, the Undersecretary of Tourism Promotion of Ecuador, on behalf of the Minister of Tourism, as well as the General Manager of Quito City’s Tourism Bureau, representing the City Mayor, expressed their unconditional support to these innovative ideas and initiatives which contribute to the growth of tourism into the capital city and the entire country. Citing updated statistical figures, the officials pointed out that tourism had increased, both in the city as well as nation-wide, during 2011 and the target is to upscale the rate of growth for this and the next years, since tourism is regarded as one of the nation’s most promising sources of income, a great generator of employment and a motor for the development of parallel activities, such as agriculture, several industries, handicrafts, arts and crafts, rural activities and a host of other social and economic activities, across the social and geographical spectrum of the country.
The development of the Quito Historic Center Tourism Product Club and its first product, the City Discover Card, received the technical and financial support of the United States International Agency for International Development, USAID; the City’s Tourism Bureau; the Historic Center’s Bureau; the Ministry of Tourism of Ecuador and other public and private institutions, enterprises and entities, interested on the improvement and sustainable development of the City’s most symbolic attraction, collaborating to improve the social, economic and employment indicators, while fostering the preservation of the cultural, natural and social values through the exercise of responsible tourism activities……
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