Ecuador`s Tourism in for Double-Digits Growth in 2004

On the heels of an unprecedented year with a total inflow of 700,000 tourists, Ecuadors travel industry is hoping to grab an 8 to 10 percent growth this time around, Ecuadorian tourism minister Gladys Eljuri said as she made a cautiously upbeat recount of her nations attendance of the latest International Tourism Marketplace (ITB) in Berlin.

Ms Eljuri held an array of talks with German tour operators and airlines in hope of getting a couple of Quito-bound weekly flights from different European cities and capitals as early as this year.

According to the Ecuadorian high-ranking official, her countrys leisure sector is in a position to grow dramatically after the March 11 terrorist attacks in Madrid. Ive been able to see the great interest of both Europe and the U.S. in Ecuador, she said.

Our next promotional campaigns will target Ecuador as a country that offers pure nature at its best to all visitors, Minister Eljuri pointed out.

Mrs. Eljuri also met with Perus Tourism Vice Minister Ramiro Salas in an effort to coordinate future joint presentations in a number of markets.

Ecuador is scheduled to hand over the chairmanship of the Andean Tourism Community (CATUR) to Peru next May 24 in Cuenca.

Were talking about two countries that complement each other and that have two major travel attractions in South America: the Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu. Therefore, were very, very interested in moving ahead with this project, the Ecuadorian minister averred.

Furthermore, wed like to have Bolivia jump on the bandwagon because our Bolivian friends also boast complementing travel allures. So, we believe Cuenca will be the perfect setting for bringing these endeavors together, she concluded.

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