March 12, 2024

Ecuador highlights adventure, gastronomy and nature at ITB Berlin 2024

For Diego Andrade, Undersecretary of Promotion at the Ministry of Tourism Ecuador, ITB Berlin 2024 was the occasion to give the message that Ecuador is a safe destination and ideal for nature lovers and environmentally-friendly activities.

What was Ecuador’s message at ITB Berlin 2024?
We are sending two messages in 2024. A very important is message is that Ecuador is a safe place to travel. We faced issues at the beginning of the year, but the actions that Ecuador national government has taken have absolutely provided good results in terms of safety and peace for Ecuadorians and visitors. There have been no security incidents in any of our touristic circuits, nor in the Galapagos, in the Amazon, nor around Quito and the Haciendas, which are the main touristic products of Ecuador. So the first message is very clear, it is safe to travel to Ecuador. The second message continues to be our value proposition for tourism. Ecuador is a country that is naturally focused on adventure and nature. This is our main driving factor for tourism.

Ecuador is well-known for ecotourism and adventure tourism. Are these still your main themes for promoting the country? 
These are our differential and we are not going to change. Ecuador will never be a destination for city life or things like that. It will always be about culture, nature and adventure. And in culture we encounter food and hospitality and architecture. We came to ITB Berlin this year with 25 private companies from our four main destinations. Ecuador has indeed four very distinct regions: The Amazon, which we keep very pristine. And then of course the other world, the Andes with the Volcano Avenue, the coast of Ecuador with its fantastic gastronomy and coffee and cocoa, and to finish up the Galapagos.

When we talk about adventure, every region has a different activity. If you are in the Amazon, it’s going to be a little bit more connected to nature, wild nature, maybe even kayaking, if you’re a little bit more daring. When you go to the Andes, then you’ve got more hiking and scenery, beautiful volcanoes, and you can go climbing. Then if you go to the Galapagos, every day is a different adventure but snorkeling and diving are the activities that really stand out.

Are there any new assets (destinations, activities, events) that you will be promoting in 2024?
Gastronomy is something which is becoming very important to us. Ecuador has been sitting on a gastronomy and a culinary treasure. And what we are actually doing now is taking a little bit advantage of that treasure to expose it worldwide. Our culture reflects on food and it varies from one region to another. You would never eat the same on the coastline of Ecuador as you would in the Amazon. And it’s a very short distance, but they’re very very different. So it is something we are so proud of that the world should know it. It is a focus of the government to promote the tourism industry and it is a focus of the tourism industry to promote the gastronomic experience of Ecuador. I think that we have the resources and flavours to back culinary promotion.

Can you tell us more about air connectivity from Europe?
Right now we have 20 weekly flights connecting Madrid with Quito and with Guayaquil while KLM does a triangle flight connecting Quito and Guayaquil. We would like to have direct flights from London and Berlin. These two flights would be fantastic.

How important is ITB Berlin for you? 
It is the most important trade show for the first half of the year. I feel that it is here where the private sector’s operators get the most business done.