The Galapagos for Ecuadorians: Tourism ministry wants to increase number of Ecuadorians visiting the islands
Ecuador’s ministry of tourism is offering incentives to Ecuadorian citizens and residents to visit the Galapagos Islands. It’s new “1×1” goal aims to have one Ecuadorian visitor to the islands for every foreign visitor.
“The Galapagos Islands are part of Ecuador and want to make it a priority that Ecuadorians enjoy the islands as well foreign tourists,” a spokesman for the agency said.
In 2016, 156,000 foreigners visited the Galapagos versus 74,000 Ecuadorians. By law and international agreement, the number of visitors to the islands is limited as is he number of residents living on the islands.
The tourism ministry is working with 1,500 national tour agencies to offer incentives for Ecuadorians to travel to the islands, including a 40% air fare discount. Other discounts are the “Ecuador al Aire”, special rates for air fare and lodging, and ones offered through coupon books. The programs are outlined on a website for tour agencies.
Current discount are good through June 2018 but the ministry says new ones will be added to help meet the 1×1 goal.