On November 24 a mutual agreement on suspendingvisa formalities for Russian and Ecuadorian tourists will take effect. Tourists
from Russia will be able to visit
without having to obtain a visa, be it a full-scale vacation or just a transit.
Yet the new rules don’t change much for Russian tourists. Ecuador has been
allowing our citizens to enter their country without visas for years now. The Consular
Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in an interview to RATA-news
that the visa-free regime was only one-way until now. But soon Ecuadorian tourists
will be able to enter Russia
without a visa, as well.
The official MFA statement says the citizens
of Russia and Ecuador, who have valid passports that allow them to cross the border,
can enter, leave, transit through and stay in the other country without a visa for
a period of up to 90 days every 180 days since their first arrival. If a Russian
or an Ecuadorian decides to stay for a longer period, or to stay for work, he will
have to obtain a visa, in accordance with local regulations.
According to the statistics, 864 thousand foreign
tourists have visited Ecuador
from January to August of this year. That is a 13% increase, compared to last year’s
numbers. There are five countries which make the majority of the Ecuador tourist flow: Colombia,
USA, Peru, Spain
Yet only a couple hundreds Russian tourists come to Ecuador every year, even though there
was no strict visa regime. Tour operators find several problems which cause this
One of the reasons is the lack of beach resorts
that Russian tourists have got accustomed to. Of course there are new 4 and 5-star
hotels being built on the shore of the Pacific, yet these resorts are far from what
Cuba and Dominican Republic
have to offer. Ecuador is a more
educational destination, where one can visit the Galapagos
Islands with its unique fauna. Another itinerary is the country’s capital
– Quito, which is
located very close to the equator line.
not really an independent destination at the moment. Mostly it sells in bundles
with other countries like Venezuela
A serious drawback for the country is the lack or Russian-speaking guides, which
results in programs and excursions being too simple and dull.
Even though Ecuador is a year-round destination,
Russian tourists prefer to visit the country during a period from October to May.
The peak dates are usually during the New Year and May holidays. According to Maxim
Chernyshov, Head of marketing and sales at Poseidon Expeditions, there has been an increase in interest towards the destination
thanks to people, who want to visit the Galapagos Islands
during their cruises. He noted that after the demand has tripled, the operator introduced
some new Ecuadorian programs. According to the expert, it will be possible to give
some estimates about the New Year holidays demand in November.