NEW YORK -- Ecuador's Ministry of Tourism last month rolled out a
public relations and marketing campaign in the U.S. that's expected
to cost $5 million to $10 million in 2003.
Included in the effort are enhanced sources of information and
fam trips for the trade.
The country's new minister of tourism, Doris Solis Carrion,
launched the campaign during a mini-road show that included
meetings with U.S. tour operators to develop and exchange ideas for
growing the business.
Solis said, during a presentation to the press, that a large
majority of 80 tour operators who sell South America, reported in a
survey that they expected continued growth in travel to Ecuador
(72%) and that they would increase their companies' offerings
Using the theme, "Ecuador: Galapagos, Andes, Amazon and the
Pacific Coast ... a Journey Beyond the Ordinary," the marketing
effort aims to create a stronger brand image for the South American
country and to showcase and promote travel to the Ecuadorian
mainland, effectively downplaying the major role that the Galapagos
Minister Solis said Ecuador's touristic attractions "were
promoted very little in the past. The new government [inaugurated
on Jan. 15] will change this."
The destination has many selling points, she said, including
proximity to the U.S., stability and affordability.
"Latin America is seen as safer than many other destinations,"
the tourism official said.
Solis said the ministry will host four eight- to 10-day fam
trips for travel agents this year, and the ministry will distribute
a bimonthly newsletter for agents and tour operators.
The ministry said it will also partner with tour operators in
radio and other promotions, still to be determined.
The ministry, although not ready to open a tourist office in the
U.S., also aims to make it easier for people to get more
information locally. Hence, the government plans to tap one person
each at the country's 10 consulates in the U.S. to promote tourism
and serve as a tourism contact for agents and travelers.
It also will promote its Web site at www.vivecuador.com
as an information source, and it aims to enable surfers to order
On the public relations side, Ecuadorian officials said there
will be a New York-based "news bureau" to assist the media.
The 2003 promotional budget comes from Ecuador's Tourism
Promotion Fund, a public-private agency created last year.