Home en Espa?ol English Home Page Ecuador and Galapagos Info Ecuador Trip Planning Info Ecuador Destinations What to Do in Ecuador Ecuador Travelers' Club Ecuadorian Ministry of Tourism


  About Us
  What We Do
  Legal Background
  National Fairs
  International Fairs
  Tourism News
  Services Directory
  Culture Directory
  Import Contacts

Versi?n Espa?ola de la Secci?n del Ministerio

Tourism Law
Ecotourism Official Site
BIT Ecuador
Official Web Site of the Ecuadorian Government
Ministery of Foreign Relations
Quito Official Site
Asamblea General de la OEA

What We Do

Within the Institution

Technical Departments


The National Marketing Department is in charge of establishing the central idea around which raising awareness of Ecuador at the national and international level will be based. It is in charge of producing audiovisual and printed material to hand out with suitable planning, at national and international fairs. It is also the body which coordinates with the private sector to work together to promote the country.


Tourist Resources

The mission of the Tourist Resources Department is to promote competitiveness in the tourism sector by means of participative and joint processes with the aim of positioning tourism as a strategic area of economic, social, and environmental development in Ecuador. The Ministry’s mission is to be the recognized leader in sustainable tourist development in South America and consolidating the achievements of the tourist activity in Ecuador by means of an effective, efficient, decentralized model of public administration. Among its objectives are the following:

  • Improve the quality of Ecuador’s tourist products and services. With this aim an inter-institutional group has been set up to manage an external evaluation to improve quality.
  • Promote a culture of tourism.
  • Help with the modernization and decentralization of tourist activity within city councils.


Planning (Planning and External Cooperation)

The Department of Planning and External Cooperation is in charge of looking after the competitive development of the tourist activity in the country. The following are some if its objectives:

  • Promote tourist development by means of participative cooperation between the public and private sectors,. guaranteeing the rational use of tourist resources and the conservation of natural and cultural resources.
  • Achieve sustainability in tourist activity.
  • Consolidate the Ecuadorian tourist identity and image both nationally and internationally.
  • Encourage touristism research that will allow the consolidation, incorporation, and/or development of current and potential tourist areas.
  • Develop rules and regulations to facilitate the development of tourism.



  • An inventory of tourist attractions
  • Sustainable tourism
  • Tourist statistics
  • Implementation of the competitiveness plan
  • National training
  • Support for micro-entrepreneurs in the tourist sector
  • Assistance for city and county councils in tourist events
  • Tourist signposting
  • Dissemination and communication
  • Marketing for internal and receptive tourism


Areas of Development

  • Tourist image
  • Legal and regulatory framework
  • Support for investment and reduction of taxes for the sector and the tourist
  • Public service infrastructure
  • Access and connections
  • Information systems and dissemination of information to users
  • Technological, environmental, and business development
  • Education and training
  • Marketing and commercialization
  • Improvement of the quality of tourist and related services
  • Productivity and efficiency
  • Focus on overseas markets
  • Improvement in added value
  • Improve competition and business environment


Management Areas

  • National Department of Tourist Resources: contributes to the generation and administration in the area of tourism, to plan, promote, and carry out projects concerning the impact on the country’s development as well as to train the sector’s personnel.
  • National Department of Tourism Planning and Overseas Cooperation: contributes to the design and implementation of plans, programs, and projects to make tourist development viable based on global and regional strategies. These are long-, medium-, and short-term plans and programs that take into account the mission, vision, aims, and policies of the national government and those of the Ministry of Tourism.
  • National Department of Marketing: contributes to the development of the tourist sector, identifying and analyzing potential markets, evaluating, selecting, and prioritizing them according to the opportunity they present in positioning the country as a tourist destination.
  • Department of Institutional Development: provides and maintains suitable human resources committed to the values of the institution and provides the material resources, general services, and security needed to fulfill the mission, vision, and aims of the organization. It also ensures continuous modernization and organizational development of the Ministry and the sector, in general.
  • Finance Department: facilitates the productive and economic management of the Ministry of Tourism by means of providing financing which allows the mission, vision, and aims of the organization to be implemented and achieved. This department has an integrated and effective system of information management.
  • IT Department: contributes to the administration of the organization by providing and maintaining modern systems of information management to achieve maximum productivity in the handling, storing, and administration of information.

  • Regional Finance and Administration Department: participates in the administration of the Regional Undersecretaryship of Tourism, acting as a consultant in matters of administration, finances, or information technology in order to fulfill the objectives of the organization, assuring a continuous process of improvement.


Regional Organizations

Regional organizations contribute to the development of the tourist sector in the region, by means of participative and joint processes, promoting the tourism industry as a strategic element of sustainable development in accordance with the policies defined by the Ministry of Tourism. Some of the organizations of the Ministry are:

  • Northern Highlands Regional Department – headquartered in the city of Ibarra, this departments jurisdiction includes the provinces of Imbabura, Carchi, and northern Esmeraldas (San Lorenzo).
  • Central Highlands Regional Department - headquartered in the city of Riobamba, this department’s jurisdiction includes the provinces of Chimborazo, Bolívar, Tungurahua, and Cotopaxi.
  • Southern Border Regional Department - headquartered in the city of Loja, this department’s jurisdiction includes the provinces of Loja, El Oro, and Zamora Chinchipe.
  • Austro Regional Department - headquartered in the city of Cuenca, this department’s jurisdiction includes the provinces of Azuay and Cañar.
  • Amazon Regional Department - headquartered in the city of Puyo, this department’s jurisdiction includes the provinces of Sucumbíos, Orellana, Napo, Pastaza, and Morona-Santiago.
  • Galapagos Regional Department - headquartered in the city of Puerto Ayora, this department’s jurisdiction is the province of Galápagos.
  • Coast Regional Department - headquartered in the city of Bahía de Caráquez, this department’s jurisdiction includes the provinces of Guayas, Manabí, Los Ríos, and Esmeraldas (except San Lorenzo).


Organizational Relationships

Agreements and Alliances

Overseas Cooperation


The Ministry of Tourism has transferred all the competences in tourist matters to 60 municipal offices around the country in order to sustain the decentralization process made by the Government.

Many issues were transferred to each canton: local promotion, care of the cultural and tourist patrimony, control of tourist establishments, maintenance and updating of inventories and directories and the ability to create laws to reinforce the quality of tourism in each region, among others.

Since then, the Ministry has established national policies and general regulations, created norms and rules that should be followed by all the service contractors, promoted the country at an international level, and made the area planning at a national level. The Ministry of Tourism also helps developing tourist sustainable tourist projects, especially with indigenous groups.

On two occasions, Gustavo Noboa, President of the Republic, solemnized the ceremonies of the transfer of tourist competences. In July, 2001 with the Cuenca, Cañar, Chordeleg, Gualaceo, Tulcán, Latacunga, Pujilí, Riobamba, Huaquillas, Zaruma, Esmeraldas, Atacames, Salinas, Santa Elena, Ibarra, Cotacachi, Otavalo, Loja, Manta ( municipio piloto) Sucre, Tena, Puyo, Quito, Ambato Baños, Zamora, Guaranda, Alausí, Colta, Guamote, Atuntaqui, Puerto López, San Vicente, Gualaquiza and Sucúa Municipal offices.

In September 2002, the process was fortified with the transference of control in another 24 offices: Portoviejo, Babahoyo, Quevedo, Samborondón, Durán, General Villamil, La Libertad, San Cristóbal, Santa Cruz, Isabela, Santo Domingo de los Colorados, Cayambe, Rumiñahui, Guano, Azogues, Saraguro, Machala, Santa Rosa, Pasaje, Orellana, Lago Agrio, Morona, Mera and Espejo.

The decentralization process promoted by the Ministry, answers the crescent demands of the local governments, consolidating the competitiveness from the base. Each canton must create a Tourist Management Unity which will be in charge to coordinate the process with the communities and the private sector.

The Decentralization Model applied in Ecuador gives dynamism to the tourism with the State participation, the local Governments, the private sector and the local communities.
Decentralization is sustained in three pillars:

1) Reinforcement of the National Authority of the Ministry of Tourism as a facilitator for the sector's development.
2) Institutional and technical reinforcement of the Municipal Offices, so they assume the leadership of local tourism.
3) The development of technical, legal and institutional processes for making an efficient and effective decentralization.

The following is a list of decentralized cantons. Click on those that have links for more information about the cantons and their tourist attractions and destinations:

Puyo (Pastaza) Salinas (Guayas)
Cotacachi (Imbabura) Santa Elena (Guayas)
Baños (Tungurahua) Tulcán (Carchi)
Manta (Manabí) Zamora (Zamora Chinchipe)
Colta (Chimborazo) Zaruma (El Oro)
Ambato (Tungurahua) Huaquillas (El Oro)
Atacames (Esmeraldas) Gualaquiza (Morona Santiago)
Antonio Ante (Imbabura) Pujilí (Cotopaxi)
Chordeleg (Azuay) Loja (Loja)
Esmeraldas (Esmeraldas) Cuenca (Azuay)
Guamote (Chimborazo) Gualaceo (Azuay)
Guaranda (Bolívar) Alausí (Chimborazo)
Guayaquil (Guayas) Sucúa (Morona Santiago)
Ibarra (Imbabura) Pastaza (Pastaza)
Latacunga (Cotopaxi) Puerto López (Manabí)
Otavalo (Imbabura) Tena (Napo)
Quito (Pichincha) Bahía de Caráquez (Manabí)
Riobamba (Chimborazo)  



The Ecuador Tourism Competitiveness Agreement is an instrument designed to promote coordination between the private and public sectors. Its aim is to adopt strategies which allow the tourist sector to solve problems specific to the chain of production in the sector. This will be done by means of appropriate channeling and rationalization of efforts between private entrepreneurs, the public sector, and the communities. The purpose of the agreement is to generate a competitive advantage and, as a consequence, to create added value to the nation’s tourism sector, in order to improve Ecuador’s position in the international market. The ultimate aim is to improve the quality of Ecuadorian tourism products and services and lower the prices of the products and services while constantly developing the sector along the lines of sustainability.

The Plan is being carried out in the following phases:

  • Global diagnostic of competitiveness of the tourism sector
  • Prioritizing the issues which need to be resolved first
  • Define the sector’s global strategies
  • Define a detailed long-term plan of action
  • Execute the plan



  • Tourist image
  • Facilitation and safety
  • Legal and regulatory framework
  • Support for investment and reduction of taxes paid by the sector and the tourist
  • Public service infrastructure
  • Access and connections
  • Information systems and dissemination to users
  • Technological, environmental, and business development
  • Education and training
  • Marketing and commercialization
  • Improvement of the quality of tourist and related services
  • Productivity and efficiency
  • Focus on overseas markets
  • Improvement in added value
  • Improve competitiveness and the local business conditions


Active Participation

National Fairs

International Fairs

With the purpose of positioning Ecuador as an unforgettable and unique travel destination in eyes of the world, the Ministry of Tourism and representatives from the Ecuador’s tourism industry attended six international tourism fairs (Fitur 2001, Madrid - Spain; BIT, Milan - Italy; ITB, Berlin - Germany; ANATO, Bogotá - Colombia; and the Salón de París) in the first half of the year. Many contacts were made and a group of journalists from important media sources expressed interested in writing articles and making documentaries to promote Ecuador in their home countries.


More Ministry of Tourism Info:


Developed by IT
National Management :

Copyright® 2004 Ministry
of Tourism of Ecuador