Tourist Destinations in Ecuador

“Tourist Protected Areas in Ecuador”

Tourist destinations in Ecuador are developing rapidly owing to the country’s relative low costs of land and services, and an increasing interest in its biological/cultural diversity. This rapid growth, due to insufficiently controlled land development and massive tourism, puts important tourist resources at risk of deteriorating, particularly beach destinations and river corridors on the Amazon. Local governments have the authority to regulate tourism, land use and environmental protection; however, most of them lack the necessary technical capacity and experience to handle effectively these activities, and are unable to cope with the pressure for development originated in private interests.

In response to that vacuum of adequate planning and conservation of tourist destinations, the Ministry of Tourism, as the maximum tourist authority in the country, has initiated the program called Tourist Protected Areas. The Program is aimed at: protecting important tourist resources, promoting equal access to opportunities for local entrepreneurs, and improving living conditions in these destinations.

Gustavo González is a landscape architect and architect in Ecuador. His interests are ecological design of cities and the role of planners/designers in the understanding of social and environmental values. He has been involved in the design of parks and public space. Most recently, he is pioneering the adoption of green infrastructure in human settlements. Currently, he has been appointed the head of planning of the Touristic Protected Areas Pilot Projects in Ecuador.

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