The number of Chinese citizens entering Ecuador each year has doubled since 2011, with the South American country an increasingly popular destination for both tourism and business.
Last year, 18,222 Chinese entered Ecuador, a stark increase from the 9,291 that arrived in 2011, according to data compiled by Ecuadorean newspaper El Comercio. From 2011 to 2012, the number of visitors increased by 32 percent, with growth steady ever since.
Records from Ecuador’s National Directorate of Immigration say Chinese tourists visiting Ecuador grew by 11 percent overall between 2011 and 2015. In that same period, business visitors increased by a staggering 268.2 percent, while people coming for events went up by 241.5 percent. The number of Chinese citizens residing in Ecuador also increased by 58 percent, according to figures from the National Directorate of Immigration.
El Comercio found that the Chinese citizens who visit Ecuador are usually older than 30 years of age and spend an average of $500 a day during their trip. They prefer to stay and eat in luxury hotels and spend most of their time in Quito and the Galapagos islands.
Last month the two nations relaxed visa regulations, with Chinese citizens now able to visit Ecuador for tourism purposes for 90 days without a visa. In return, Ecuadorians can now stay in China for a maximum of 30 days without a visa.
Credit: TelesurTv, www.telesurtv.net