Quito, Ecuador is Officially South America’s Leading Travel Destination for 2016

Lead Photo: Photo by Dario Endara
Photo by Dario Endara
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Three months have passed since a devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit Ecuador’s northwestern coast. Recorded as one of the strongest earthquakes since 1979, the natural disaster left multiple communities in need of relief. As efforts continue across the country, the quake’s possible effect on tourism has been brought into question. With a long road to recovery in Ecuador’s future, a decrease in tourism could have serious effects on the economy. According to the New York Times, in 2015, tourism brought in $1 billion, making it the fourth biggest source of income in the country. In 2007, Ecuador attracted 650,000 visitors, which grew to 1.5 million eight years later. Though Manta, Bahía de Caraquez, Canoa, and Pedernales are some of the most popular tourist areas affected by the tremor, these places are mostly a draw for locals. International travelers, however, are mostly lured by the Galápagos Islands and, more increasingly, Quito. Since the building of Mariscal Sucre International Airport in 2013, more hotels and fine-dining restaurants have opened in Quito and more people are spending time in the capital.

While some may have canceled their travel plans after the earthquake, experts believe the South American country’s thriving tourism industry will remain unaffected. And it might actually get a boost after a strong showing at the 2016 World Travel Awards. Voted on by people in the hospitality industry, Ecuador won seven tourism awards, and we learned that the country is equally appealing for leisure and business. Here’s where Ecuador excels:


South America's Leading Destination: Quito, Ecuador


South America's Leading Green Destination: Ecuador


South America's Leading Green Hotel: Finch Bay Eco Hotel


South America's Leading Airport: Mariscal Sucre International Airport


Other Categories

  • South America’s Leading Business Travel Destination: Guayaquil Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • South America’s Leading Boutique Hotel: Hotel Plaza Grande Quito
  • South America’s Leading Conference Hotel: Swissôtel Quito