A plan to increase yields ahead of passenger numbers is paying off for Ecuador.
Deputy minister of tourism promotion Dominic Hamilton said while the destination saw a 14% increase in visitor numbers to more than 1.5 million, the yield per visitor grew by 17%.
Nor is the disparity a one off. He added in the first half of 2015 the destination has seen a 3% growth in visitor numbers which has been trumped by an 11% growth in yield.
Hamilton said: ‘We’ve been doing very well. We have had a challenge with a strong dollar as we are a dollar economy which makes it hard for Europeans (to visit).”
He added the strategy has been implemented particularly well in the UK where nearly a third of Brits visit the country with a tour operator.
To this end the destination has been working with tour operators and training them via visits, webinars and road shows to make sure they are attracting the targeted clients.
Training tourist businesses in Ecuador then ensure they are delivering the levels of service expected by the higher end markets.
Hamilton said the policy was particularly visible in the Galapagos Islands where three of the fleet of about 60 boats have been replaced by new ones aiming to supply more luxury.
He added: “We don’t want 100,000 people in the Galapagos, what we will see in the next few years and the long term strategy is to improve the spend without increasing the visitor numbers.”
Hamilton said the new Feel Again advertising campaign launched in the summer was not highlighting the experiences available in Ecaudor as well as there relative proximity to one another compared to the country’s much larger rivals.
The bottom line’s the bottom line, so if a financial focus helps a destination then it’s good news