CUENCA DIGESTCuenca weather forecast: April showers give way to more showers in May; annual rainfall is still below normal

May 4, 2010

Ecuador’s National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology, (INAMHI) says that May in Cuenca may be wetter than usual. INAMHI makes the prediction based on water temperatures in the Pacific that are slightly higher than normal but says more rain is needed to overcome the deficit from last fall’s drought.

Historically, May is second only to April in rainfall, with an average of 4.3 inches (109 mm). April rainfall in Cuenca has averaged 4.5 (114 mm) inches over the last 30 years. Cuenca’s annual rainfall average is 28 inches (711 mm).

INAMHI says that Cuenca remains almost 25% below normal rainfall average for the past 12 months due the drought from August to December 2009.

This week’s forecast? Expect mostly afternoon and early evening showers to continue.

NEW EAST SIDE SHOPPING MALL OPENS MAY 21

Cuenca’s newest shopping mall, Manay Shopping, officially opens on May 21. The five-floor complex at Av. Gonzalez Suarez and Av. Emiliano Zapata on the city’s east side, will be the second largest shopping center after Mall del Rio.

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The 500,000 square-foot commercial center will have 44 stores and offices and will be anchored by a Coral Hypermarket, similar in design to the one at Mall del Rio. The main structure features escalators and elevators to all levels and secure off-street parking.

Manay will be managed by the same company that operates Mall del Rio. General Manager Juan Fernando Cordero explained the decision to build at the new site. "The market study we conducted showed that this part of the city was the best location for another Coral Hypermarkets as well as other commercial outlets.” Cordero said the location takes advantage of the Autopisto and provides easy access to customers from Azogues, Canar, Gualaceo, Paute and other communities to the east and north of Cuenca.

Cordero says that Manay was built to accommodate 12,000 customers per day. Mall del Rio averages 20,000.

2010 ECUADOR TOURISM UP 14% FROM 2009

The number of foreign visitors to Ecuador in the first quarter of 2010 spiked up 14% from the corresponding period in 2009.

According to data released by the National Ministry of Tourism, 235,654 tourists visited Ecuador in the first three months of the year. Statistics indicate that visitor arrivals were highest in January with 96,092 visits, followed by 89,912 in February and 82,421 in March.

The major source markets in 2010 are the United States (21.5% of the total), Colombia (20.49%) and Peru (16%). Other major source countries are Spain, Germany, Britain and France, providing 4.66%, 2.39%, 1.84% and 1.62% respectively.

The major tourist destinations in Ecuador continue to be the Galapagos Islands, Quito and Cuenca.

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