Ecuador, a place still to be discovered. A country full of opportunities, by Arturo García Rosa

Arturo García Rosa
President & Founder, SAHIC

Ecuador, a place still to be discovered. A country full of opportunities

It is true that Ecuador was discovered many years ago, that its jewel, the Galapagos Islands, are a destination of international fame. A destination that sets an example of protection, care and value.

However, Ecuador, the country of the 4 worlds- the Amazon, the coast, the mountains and the famous Galapagos- can proudly boast of being the country with the most natural variety considering its total area.

Ecuador is home to 8% of the planet's animal species and 10% of its flora.

Quito, its capital city, was the first city in Latin America to be declared a World Heritage Site.

In short, Ecuador is a whole world to discover, a great world full of opportunities and we will have the opportunity to learn more about them during the next edition of SAHIC on September 16 and 17.

In the last few years, almost the entire region, and especially the Andean region, has experienced strong growth in the tourism business.

Chile, Peru and Colombia have shown that fruitful work, sustained, long-term plans, end up showing results.

In order to focus quickly on the tourism panorama in Ecuador, let's point out that tourism accounts directly for 2% of the country's GDP.

International tourism arrivals in 2018 reached 2.5 million tourists, while foreign exchange earnings reached US$ 2.392 billion, an average of almost US$ 1,000 per tourist, a high average for the region.

It is true that the total number of tourists mentioned includes 945,000 from Venezuela. And so it is necessary to make some additional qualitative analysis of the numbers. If we look at previous years, in 2017 the arrival of tourists from the same origin totaled 277,000, while in previous years the arrival number was in the range of 100,000 annual tourists.

Having carried out this analysis and agreeing that approximately 200,000 of the income from Venezuela are actually tourists, we could conclude that the total number of international tourists entering Ecuador in 2018 is around 2 million. Even so, the growth of tourist arrivals would continue to be positive, as shown in the chart below:

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These 2 million tourists account for 10.7% year-on-year growth, which positions Ecuador as the growth leader for 2018, as shown in the following chart:

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In order to better understand the process of tourism development in Ecuador in relation to the trends in the region, it is good to take a look at what has been going on in the last decade.

As can be seen in the chart below, the growth of tourist arrivals in Ecuador for 2009-2018 reached 106.6%, leading the growth rate in the region for the same period: Chile 107.4% and Colombia 90.7%, while Uruguay reached 76.9%, Peru 64.8%, Argentina 61.2% and Brazil, 37.9%.

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Many circumstances have contributed to delaying the arrival of investments in Ecuador in the same way as they have in most Andean countries.

There are now conditions proving that the long road undertaken is beginning to show its first results.

The extensive and beautiful Ecuadorian coast is plagued with opportunities for the development of projects that are waiting to be exploited while an impatient demand for this type of destination is ready for them as soon as they are available on the market.

A number of houses with high patrimonial value and history are waiting to be promoted.

The Amazon and the mountains, the other areas that complete the four worlds, with their own characteristics, close the range of opportunities that Ecuador offers to those who seek opportunities in a region that, apart from the difficulties of the ups and downs of world politics and economy, offers a different and surely more possible future than that of traditional markets.

See you in Quito next September 16 and 17.

Camila Lavori