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Ecuador turns focus on India market

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Garners interest from TATA group for hospitality projects

Kahini ChakrabortyMumbai

20141130eh09
Hector Cueva Jacome

Pro Ecuador, the Institute for the Promotion of Trade and Investment of the country, has turned its focus on the India market and is attracting high-end luxury traveller segment and trade investment opportunities. Pro Ecuador introduced the destination and launched its maiden marketing campaign ‘Like nowwhere else. All in one place. So close’ in Mumbai. Speaking exclusively to Food & Hospitality World on the sidelines of the event about the destination’s growth story in hospitality investments, Hector Cueva Jacome, consul general, trade commisioner, Pro Ecuador said, “We see a huge tourism and trade relations potential from the India market and therefore we are trying to attract investments from all sectors. On the hospitality front, we recently had certain officials from the TATA group visit Ecuador as they are planning to invest in one or two hotels in Quito and Galapagos Islands. Vivanta by Taj is interested in buying a hotel in Ecuador and building an eco-lodge in Galapagos Island, which could be worth a US$ 50-100 million investment. Adi Godrej also visited Galapagos Island recently.”

When asked about whether any other India-based hospitality company has shown interest in setting up properties in Ecuador, Jacome replied, “Not at the moment. It is like an agreement between the Ecuador government and Vivanta by Taj. If later, Taj group is not interested, I think a lot of other hospitality companies could be interested in developing properties in Galapagos Island as it is a hotspot destination among travellers.” Elaborating on the tourism marketing strategies planned for the India market, he added, “We are targeting seasoned and high-end luxury segment travellers from India as the time taken to reach Ecuador is long and expensive. And since India is a huge potential market, we are planning to offer packages between Ecuador, Peru, Argentina and Brazil. With these packages, we are offering travellers the chance to have a memorable experience in one South America trip. We want Ecuador to be the gateway for Indians to visit Latin American countries. We are looking at promoting Ecuador as a year-round destination.”

Priscila Moscoso Meiller, trade officer, Pro Ecuador added, “The priority objective of Pro Ecuador presently is to work closely with specific travel agencies that market Latin American destinations. At the moment we are not looking at entering into partnerships to promote the destination, but later as we progress on our promotional strategies, this is an aspect that we can look at. We need to figure out how to work closely with travel agents in India and educate the market about Ecuador as a new destination. Presently our focus is on the Mumbai market and later we will enter New Delhi. In 2013, Ecuador received less than 4,000 travellers from India and we are looking at selling Ecuador with different elements of the place, for e.g: Ecuadorian chocolates. This is the beginning of our tourism endeavours and we will systematically plan our marketing initiatives.”

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