Ecuadorean tourism minister Sandra Naranjo says Mother Nature has clearly been kind to her homeland.
Naranjo told a Toronto gathering yesterday (Nov. 18) that her homeland has 1,600 species of birds, more than North America and Europe combined.
As well, the country is home to 4,500 species of orchids and those visiting the Galapagos may find themselves “standing next to a sea lion or walking next to an iguana,” she said of the famed archipelago, 97% of which is a national park.
Jungle, the Galapagos, the Andes and Pacific coast provide very different travel experiences for visitors, Naranjo continued.
“We always say that Ecuador is like four worlds in a country,” she added of a country she labelled “the most biodiverse country per square kilometre on earth.”
Naranjo said Ecuador’s capital of Quito in turn has “the biggest and best preserved historic centre in South America.”
Ecuador has been seeing new hotels, including ones falling under the Sheraton, Marriott, Wyndham and Holiday Inn banners.
Naranjo reported that Ecuador saw a 14.2% increase in visitors in 2013 compared to 2012, easily outpacing the 4% South America collectively saw. “It’s the in country to go to now.”
Pictured are Veronica Sevilla of Quito-based EKOS and Dominic Hamilton, vice-president of tourism promotions.