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Boost in tourism budget helping Ecuador's transition from oil economy

Ecuador is currently reaping the benefits of its increased investment in its tourism sector. As the country looks to diversify its economy in order to decrease its reliance on oil, the Ecuadorian government has been pumping more funds into tourism and the country is on track for strong growth in the number of holidaymakers travelling to Ecuador in 2015.

Boost in tourism budget helping Ecuador's transition from oil economy

With the falling price of oil currently a major cause for concern in oil-dependent countries like Norway, Ecuador’s efforts to transition away from a heavily oil reliant economy is undoubtedly a step in the right direction.

As part of that transition the Ecuadorian government has pumped more funds into the tourism sector and recent figures show that the South American nation is reaping the rewards of that investment, with a 15 per cent increase in the number of travellers booking holidays to Ecuador for the year to date.

The South American country is now on track to welcoming 1.4 million visitors in 2014 and hopes to achieve a 10-15% growth on this figure next year.

Sandra Naranjo, the minister of tourism for Ecuador, revealed:

"We are seeing the result and it’s also the result of a lot of effort from the government. Because, for example, in 2006 before this government came in the amount of investment in tourism was around $6 million now it’s around $60 million

One aspect of the increased investment has been more effective tourism marketing campaigns. The Miami Herald recently covered the launch of Ecuador’s “All you need is Ecuador” campaign. The skin of Metromover cars in Miami feature advertisements reminding commuters of the all the wonderful and unique experiences they can have if they travel to Ecuador, which range from surfing and white-water kayaking to mouth-watering cuisine. The campaign will also be featured on buses in Washington, trains in Chicago and potentially New York and Los Angeles in the near future.

Despite the fact that its regional peers experienced a decrease in the number of visitors during the height of the recession in 2008, Ecuador’s ambassador to the U.S., Natalia Cely pointed out that her country was able to hold its own. Since then, figures have continued to grow with an increase in U.S. visitors from 244,406 in 2008 to 248, 852 in 2013 and a record $2 billion invested in hotels in Ecuador this year.

Ms Cely expressed confidence that the latest campaign, which features slogans like “Like nowhere else, all in one place, so close. All you need is Ecuador”, would help to entice a record number of holidaymakers to travel to Ecuador in 2015.

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