The Minister of Tourism spoke with EXPRESO about the strategy that this State portfolio will carry out to achieve the goal of converting Ecuador into a tourist destination.
The Minister of Tourism, Enrique Ponce de León, spoke with EXPRESO about the strategy that this State portfolio will carry out to achieve the goal of converting Ecuador into a tourist destination, and that the one-for-one plan for every Ecuadorian a tourist, come to its realization.
– What is the strategy that Ecuador is going to implement?
– We are working on an intelligent strategy to achieve connectivity, packaging and to constitute Ecuador in a gastronomic destination. It is a joint work between the public and private sectors. We will increase the budget for investment in promotion to achieve one by one.
– Do we have to define the type of destination that Ecuador wants to be?
– Ecuador admits a range of market niches, so I do not think it would be appropriate to classify Ecuador as a destination for elite hotels; or we will qualify Ecuador as a destination country for backpackers; or qualify it as a resort country, no. We have four worlds in our country, and each one admits different types of tourism development.
– You have to set quality standards in hotels …
– Yes and this does apply to all establishments. The quality has to prevail; The categorization of the tourist establishment should not matter in the face of the fact that it meets safety, quality and hygiene standards. In this we must be forceful and in that we are working hand in hand with private enterprise, with the Decentralized Autonomous Governments and with the academy.
– How to attract tourists if there are unattainable costs?
– That’s why we talk about packing first, so prices go down. The products become more attractive when we pack the airline seat with the hotel bed, the restaurant chair and / or the land transfer.
– How much does each packaging cost?
– They are very low costs, but it depends on the type of hotel that the tourist arrives at. In the case of flight, for example, it ends up costing access to the package what normally costs the air ticket.
– How much does the Ministry have to execute its proposal?
– The Ministry of Tourism has a budget of 24,176,297 dollars, of which 18,655,512 are spent for current expenditure, and 5,520,784 dollars for investment.
– The strategy of the previous Government was the All You Need is Ecuador campaign. What results were obtained from this?
– Publicity was made that could not be clearly measured in terms of return in number of tourists.
– You have an estimate of how much All You Need is Ecuador represented in figures or in tourists …
– Almost nil. A 24% increase in digital exposure was reached, that is, it was known that Ecuador exists; an increase of 3% per month in arrivals of foreigners was obtained, which would mean that they are between 2,500 and 3,000 monthly tourists. That is the data that reflects the study carried out by the Coordination of Statistics because there was no specific information in this regard, so they are estimates.
– There are criticisms of the Ministry’s proposal. What do you think?
– More than criticisms are different conceptions of the same reality. Roque Sevilla has a very respectable vision, but a vision from the perspective of hotelier, because he has concentrated his activity to boutique hotels, and of course that is a market niche that we support. We agree, but we believe that Ecuador gives for much more. (I)