General Manager of the Quito Tourism Board, Veronica Sevilla, talks about Quito Turismo’s new strategy to position the city as a multifaceted destination, highlighting the recent increase in tourist arrivals to the destination.
– What are the main challenges for the Quito Tourism Board?
There are several challenges we are tackling, but with much enthusiasm. One of our main objectives is to position Quito as a magical destination ready to be discovered and experienced. In addition to being the gateway to Ecuador, Quito is unique due to its numerous natural, historic, gastronomic, and cultural treasures. We also want to promote Quito as the ideal destination to truly connect with nature, a metropolitan city surrounded by many marvellous tourist attractions, and consolidate the city’s position as a leading MICE destination. Reaching these objectives should result in more tourist arrivals and longer stays in the city.
– What strategies do you apply to achieve these objectives?
In the past travellers were motivated by getting to know a destination, but now, visitors want to experience the culture and traditions of our city. To meet this demand, we have expanded and updated our offering to appeal to all types of travellers, from backpackers and business travellers, to nature, history and culture enthusiasts. Today, Quito is much more than the City at the Middle of the World, it is also a gastronomic hub, an adventure destination and a one of the best destinations worldwide to enjoy birdwatching.
– What is the outlook for tourist arrivals to Quito?
Updated tourism numbers have been released and they are very encouraging. Quito is the most visited destination in Ecuador, which demonstrates the success of our promotional activities overseas. During the first half of the year, Quito welcomed 314,183 international tourists, which is 7,069 more travellers compared to the same period in 2016. This trend is likely to continue with 2017 arrivals expected to exceed 630,000. There are also a number of projects underway that we anticipate will result in more tourism growth, including the New Metropolitan Convention Centre set to open in 2018 and the Quito subway which will provide a fast and innovative system, transforming travel around the city and opening up new areas to tourism.
– Are there specific events taking place in the city you’d like to highlight?
This year the Festival of Lights is the central event of the Summer of the Arts program, which offers outdoor music festivals, performances and other artistic expressions throughout the month of August. Those who enjoy gastronomy will also appreciate Quito’s first ever culinary festival, Sal Quiteña. Another excellent option is attending a traditional workshop offered in El Quinde Visitors Centre or La Ronda. In regards to the Meetings & Events segment, we are excited to be the host of Routes America 2018, the most important event in the aviation industry in the region, which will also be an opportunity to showcase the many treasures of our beautiful city.