María Cristina Rivadeneira, the General Director of Quito Turismo, and Gustavo Santos, head of the Americas for the UNWTO, discussed the current situation of Quito´s tourism sector and possible new initiatives to support its recovery process,
Through Quito Turismo, the city´s town council is working on strengthening tourism and generating more opportunities for developing the productive sector through specific priority action.
In this regard, María Cristina Rivadeneira, general manager of Quito Turismo, met with Gustavo Santos, head of the Americas for the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), at its headquarters in Madrid, Spain.
Also present at the meeting were Etzon Romo, development manager at Quito Turismo, Esther Ruiz from the Regional Department for the Americas at the UNWTO, Patricia Carmona and Michel Julian from the Tourism Market Intelligence department; and Lorena Villar from the Tourism and Competitiveness department at the UNWTO.
During the meeting, the authorities discussed the tourism situation in the Ecuadorian capital and the potential to establish initiatives to help the sector continue its process of recovery following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Santos, who was the Minister of Tourism and the State Secretary for Tourism for the Nation of Argentina from 2015 to 2019, claimed that he had a special love for Quito, a city with an “extraordinary wealth of culture” and which the UNWTO will support and encourage in its growth.
p>In the meeting, the highest authority of Quito Turismo shared a brief explanation of the work which is going on in Ecuador´s capital to advance the growth of tourism; mentioned the need to reinforce plans to encourage tourism not only to the main attractions in the Metropolitan District´s urban area, but also to the region´s 33 rural parishes; and highlighted that, with the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar, a programme is being promoted that aims to obtain data and territorial information that will make it possible to outline specific actions to strengthen the sector.
Gustavo Santos emphasised that the World Tourism Organisation will offer its experience, assistance and support to Quito and Ecuador so they can position themselves as an attractive, safe and sustainable destination for international visitors; and he reminded everyone that, in June this year, the country will host the 68th Meeting of the UNWTO Regional Commission for the Americas, a meeting which is expected to consolidate work with Ecuador.
Santos expressed the UNWTO´s interest in setting up a pilot project which will enable the collection of real information about the rural area of the DMQ and which will establish public policies and plans to increase tourism. Furthermore, he left open the possibility for Quito to join the Network of Tourism Observatories, comprising 36 cities from countries such as China, Greece, Croatia, The United States, Guatemala, Argentina and others; so that the destination can have more data on and awareness of the state and growth of world tourism.