PATAGONIA, Chile -- Travel Agent sat down with several members of the Ecuadorian Tourism Promotion Board during our tour of the floor at TravelMart Latin America 2009 and learned of the country’s attempts to boost arrivals by 50 percent and spending by more than roughly $100 per person. The five-year marketing plan was launched just two weeks ago and will be focused on heavily promoting the country’s niche markets, says Patricio Gaybor, executive director of the Promotion Board.
The country’s main niche markets such as outdoor activities and eco-tourism need to be marketed separately through different channels of advertising from consumer publications to trade publications to online advertising, Gaybor says. The five-year plan is being designed with the intent of boosting arrivals from its current 1 million visitors to 1.5 million by 2014. Gaybor says the country saw a roughly seven-percent decrease in 2009. Gaybor also noted that the board needs to boost the average spending per visitor. In 2008, the average traveler to Ecuador spent $756. Gaybor says the country would like that number to spike to $858 by 2014.