|Photo by Freeimages.com/Nate Brelsford|
The Ecuador Ministry of Tourism has issued an update on the country's tourism infrastructure after a 7.8 earthquake struck near the coastal town of Pedernales in the state of Manabi the evening of Saturday, April 16. The coastal provinces of Manabi and Esermaldas, closest to the epicenter, were most affected by the quake.
The tourism infrastructure located in areas not significantly affected by the earthquake, such as the Amazon, Andes and Galapagos, including all airports, accommodations, tour operators and ground transport, remain open and fully operational, the Ecuador Ministry of Tourism said.
Here is a region by region breakdown:
Amazon - All airports in the area are open and operating normally. The tourism infrastructure remains open and functioning.
Andes - All airports, including in the cities of Quito, Latacunga, Cuenca, Loja and Tulcan, as well as ground transportation and accommodations, are fully operational and escaped any damage. The City of Quito is currently evaluating any possible damage to its historic center. Other popular tourism destinations, including Otavalo, Cuenca, Baños and areas around the Cotopaxi and Chimborazo volcanos, have not reported any major damage, and tourism services, including hotels and tours, are operating.
Coast - The port city of Guayaquil is reporting damage to roads, streets, bridges and other infrastructure across the city. Its airport and hotels, however, remain open and fully operational. The Municipality of Guayaquil has asked for the limitation of transit through tomorrow in order to conduct a thorough assessment of the damage, which may impact the mobility of tourists.
The cities of Manta, Pedemales, Bahia de Caraquez, and Portoviejo have suffered extensive damage, including the collapse of several buildings and hotels, and most roads leading to these cities are closed. The Manta airport is closed to commercial flights until further notice, but remains open for flights carrying humanitarian assistance. The port of Manta remains in operation.
Galapagos Islands - The Galapagos have not been affected by the earthquake or aftershocks. All airports, hotels and cruises in the area are cully operational, and all tourism activities, including guided tours and excursions, are running.