Ecuador: Esmeraldas, Manabi Provinces trying to reactivate tourism after quake

Posted on July 25, 2016 • Filed under: Ecuador, Ecuador Travel

The earthquake on April 16 away to tourism in these two provinces. The public and private sectors together to seek alternatives and revive the economy of these areas. writing Citizenship Representatives of local and national public bodies and private enterprise, banded together to seek alternatives that lead to the revival of tourism and economy in Esmeraldas and Manabi, two of the most affected provinces after the earthquake of April 16. For example, the Ministry of Tourism said that with a gastronomic, cultural and craft festival, today the launch of the whale watching season on the beach of Shua, in the canton Atacames (Esmeraldas) will be held. In addition, for the first time the cross (competition) swimming called ‘Galo Yépez’ will be held. This coincides with the start of vacation in the Sierra, which is seen by the tourism sectors of Esmeraldas as a great opportunity to revive the flow of visitors.


The expectation is great considering that the main source of income that drives the economy of the canton Atacames is tourism, around which a number of commercial and recreational activities are developed. According to official figures, 90% of the population (about 50,000 inhabitants) lives just tourism. Atacames is the largest in the country and the closest to Quito natural beach, so most of the capital make this resort, especially on holidays and vacation time, like today, one of the busiest and popular. Mayor Atacames, Byron Aparicio said the concern about falling visitor. Carnival holiday in 2015 received 25,000 tourists; this year did not reach 25% or occupancy of hotel infrastructure. Hence they focus their hopes in July and August this year. He said that only 1% of the hotels was affected after the earthquake and aftershocks, so 99% of the nearly 800 properties and apartments for visitors who are in Canton, are “intact” and ready to receive up to 30,000 they. “The goal is to survive and repay acquired loans and for investment in the tourism sector, with the National Finance Corporation (CFN) and private banks. Seasons how are you will allow us reactivarnos “he said. Sara Moyano, who for 2 years chairs the Chamber of Tourism Atacames (120 members), said that “tourism in the area is affected by almost 100%, but not infrastructure, but the arrival of vacationers, in the economy and the psychological impact. ” He explained that the involvement does not come alone after the earthquake, but goes back to August 2015, when some news alienated people by pointing to a possible spread of tropical diseases such as chikungunya and zika and the supposed arrival of Phenomenon El Niño, “which in the end never gave strong.” Another aspect that affected tourism in this beach according Moyano was that since last December, then on holidays and weekends, many Ecuadoreans preferred to go on shopping tours to Colombia, using the dollar exchange rate differential with weight. To illustrate the losses, at this point the mayor said that tourism, in its best moments, moved seasonally around $ 15 million, but now has dropped dramatically. He insisted that the hotel infrastructure was not affected in the canton but only 1%, while 99% is fine. They expect to recover the flow of tourists. To do this, since May have been making traveling culinary and craft fairs in several cities, including: Guayaquil, Ambato, Otavalo and Quito. There, they have used to advertise and offer discounts: 15% on food, cocktails 10% and 15% to 25% discount on lodging. “We live in a 90% or more of the economy generated by tourism, so the absence of visitors, we have no other income because there is no industry, as there is little livestock and agricultural activity,” Moyano said. Atacames GAD, the Ministry of Tourism, the Provincial Directorate of the Ministry of Environment and the Governor of Esmeraldas, have coordinated actions to provide training for tour operators who engage in these activities, in an effort to improve service. They have also emphasized much on the security issue, so that tourists feel calm. Read Article

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