Ecuador hopes increased airline options will boost tourism

Tourism is on the rise in Ecuador and it’s Minister of Tourism, Rosa Prado de Holguín, believes new airline routes can boost it even higher. According to the ministry, foreign tourism grew by 7.5% since the first of the year. The country expects to close the year with a 15% increase—well above the Latin American average of 7%—in international tourists, adding another 200,000 visitors to 2018’s 1.6 international guests.

Prado de Holguín told a group of journalists in Madrid that there has been an increase of 30% in Spaniards visiting Ecuador in 2019, making them the second largest group of tourists after Americans, to visit the country.

In a meeting with representatives from several airline companies and tourism business, she explained that this increase means there will be even greater demand for airline options between the two countries in the future.

In fact, many new choices are already in the works.

Iberia will strengthen its offerings to Ecuador with one more daily flight between Madrid and Quito starting on July 1st. They are also planning to add a flight four times a week between Madid and Guayaquil beginning in December.

Air Europa is now offering three flights a week between Madrid and the Quito. And another new Spanish airline, Plus Ultra, will begin operating flights between the two country’s capitals on July 12. Another highlight is that of Air France returning to Ecuador after 25 years, with three weekly services between Paris and Quito.

Also, for the first time, there will be direct flights from Canada to Ecuador, thanks to the Toronto-Quito route that Air Canada will soon operate three times a week. Given that Canada has become the third largest source of tourists to Ecuador, the minister hopes that this new direct route will increase the demand coming from the North American country.

“We are on the right track, improving connectivity and infrastructure and we will see how the Spanish market behaves in summer, when the Spaniards travel the most,” said the minister.

Prado de Holguín said that Ecuador is in a good position regarding tourism competitiveness (ranked 57 out of 136 countries) and “that gives us a chance to continue growing and improving. The goal is to reach 50th place and we are going to make every effort to make this happen this year, “he said.