In late September, Ecuador’s Ministry of Tourism offered hand-selected members of the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) the opportunity to discover why Ecuador “loves life” by experiencing one of the world’s most ecologically diverse destinations…with a focus on adventure activities. The ATTA provides promotional opportunities such as this invite-only FAM tour in conjunction with larger partnership agreements.
US and Canada-based outbound companies invited to participate and visit the Andes & Amazon regions of Ecuador included: Backroads, Butterfield & Robinson, Country Walkers, Cultural Crossroads, Explore! Worldwide, Andean Treks, The Adventure Travel Company, Llama Expeditions, Evergreen Escapes, Adventures Within Reach, and Smartflyer.
“This trip is AMAZING!! You have all done a WONDERFUL job!,” said Owen Gaddis, an adventure-focused travel agent from Smartflyer.
During their explorations, trip designers and program managers discovered the historical center of Quito with its stunning colonial architecture, enjoyed fine Ecuadorian cuisine, from traditional to contemporary food, visited active volcanoes, bicycled along the Avenue of Orchids, hiked various mountains and white water rafted the Jatun Yaku, one of Ecuador’s most active rivers. To complete the FAM tour and to discuss further business partnership opportunities, the visitors attended a workshop with local Ecuadorian tour providers including ATTA Members Ecuador Adventure, Enchanted Expeditions, EQ Touring, Galacruises Expeditions, Latin Trails, Metropolitan Touring, Surtrek, Tierra Del Volcan, Travel Ecuador, Yacu Amu Experiences and others. Finally, as part of traditional Ecuadorian hospitality, the companies enjoyed a traditional Ecuadorian celebration called “Vaca loca” complete with fireworks!
Kai Turner from Backroads appreciated the chance to experience Ecuador’s less-visited regions: “Thank you again for such a wonderful trip! I’m already talking with my regional manager about options for improving our options in Ecuador.”
Maria Borisov, Sales Manager for EverGreen Escapes Cascadia & International, pronounced after returning home from this trip: “…(Ecuador) has all of the natural wonders…wildlife, jungle, volcanoes, rivers, Galapagos, coastline, beaches…PLUS incredible cultural opportunities and such a rich history to share. In the two times I’ve visited over the past two years, adventure tourism and overall infrastructure has improved greatly. I just fell in love with the country and the people, and I hope we can send lots of travelers there as we grow our international programs.”