Ecuador is a world leader in community based tourism with over 100 indigenous communities offering a wide variety of experiences. Community tourism values people, collective wellbeing, and harmony with nature over profit, and helps sustain many communities. Gathering and sharing knowledge and experiences between rural and small communities, as well as learning about sustainable development around the world, can help communities adapt to a changing economic environment where sustainable tourism offers new opportunities.
Are you interested in increasing your number of visitors ?
Are you interested in establishing an " online world presence " for your community ?
Inviting us to come and experience the tourism offering of your community can be a major benefit to your community tourism project. We photograph, and document the community experience, create a quality article, and proudly incorporate it into our rich resource website. This establishes your " online world presence " for further promotion, easily transfers to other social media, and instantly significantly expands your reach. This showcases your community, and gives potential new visitors a better understanding of what your community destination has to offer. We help promote the diversity, and strengthen community tourism initiatives in Ecuador both nationally, and internationally. Our website has a well established international readership and receives thousands of views from around the globe. We help visitors discover and experience the enriching interculture experiences and harmony with nature here in Ecuador. The promotional article is easily translated by the reader into many different languages. We can help identify and eliminate barriers to your growth. We volunteer these services completely free to community based tourism projects.
As a world leader in community based tourism there are over 100 indigenous communities offering a wide variety of experiences. Rural tourism is the cornerstone for preserving traditions, artistic styles and various processes to be to passed on to future generations. This sustainable form of tourism provides a unique and highly experiential aspect, providing the visitor with tangible involvement in life's daily activities, and a rewarding learning experience within a new culture. Prepare to be amazed as you see, hear, touch, and taste things you have probably never experienced. Gain a deeper connection with people and nature, developing awareness, empathy, and a new perspective. For hundreds of years indigenous peoples, Afro-Ecuadorians, peasants and montubios (mestizos) have been the stewards of the environment and ecosystems in rural Ecuador. Sustainable land management strategies have been handed down from generation to generation through a rich culture and tradition that emphasizes a strong conservation ethic. The community assumes collective responsibility for all aspects of your experience, including accommodations, internal travel, meals drawn from local agriculture, and cultural activities. It's economic benefits improves the local communities quality of life, health, and education, minimizing the migration to cities and preserving cultural identity. It also enables sustainable resource management.
In Ecuador's Andean highland communities organize cultural activities for travelers who want to experience the Sierra in a different and more affordable way. Indigenous markets, hiking excursions, horseback riding, or mountain biking to local lakes, paramo highlands, mountains, and volcanoes are led by local, professionally licensed guides. Deep in the amazon your senses will awaken to the sights, sounds, and smells of colourful birds, frogs, insects, monkeys, and gurgling streams. Canoe through the most beautiful and biodiverse spots on this planet. Learn about the rainforest stewards life deep in the jungle. Witness a spiritual healing session with a shaman. All of these cultural experiences showcase an extraordinary harmonic relationship with mother earth.
Community tourism or " human tourism " is best illustrated by the following two examples.
First scenario: Arriving in an Andean village with a bus full of tourists your guide shows you the sights, you snap some photos, eat in a upscale restaurant, buy some souvenirs, and then leave for your next stop on the itinerary.
Second scenario: In a small group, you travel to a remote indigenous Andean community. You will experience local life by perhaps living with a family, or in a quaint cabin with a fireplace, sharing in life's tasks - farm chores, eating with them, and sharing some activities such as horseback riding, canoeing, hiking, or biking. Awake to the sounds of birds singing and the gurgling river. You will receive a personal tour of natural sites such as local lakes, paramo highlands, jungle, mountains, or volcanoes, and learn about customs, myths, and legends. See wildlife, birds, insects and a wide variety of plants. You will see, hear, touch, and taste things you have probably never experienced. You will gain a deeper connection with people and nature, developing awareness, empathy, and a new perspective.
This difference can be described as between seeing as a tourist, or living and experiencing as a traveler. Both have their advantages, and you must choose which is more suitable to you – depending on your interests and preferences. If you are someone who prefers a deeper involvement, if you are seeking an authentic experience and want to make a positive impact on a place, you should pursue the second scenario: "community tourism."
The global middle class ( representing tens of millions ) have acquired the means to travel. In 1960 China had 70 million residents traveling internationally - today that number is 1.4 billion. In the 19th century travel was limited to wealthy nobles and educated professionals. Supercheap airlines have dramatically cut the cost of travel, cruise ship popularity has increased dramatically, and internet platforms such as Air BnB increased room supply and lowered costs.
This significant growth in " mass tourism " has created serious problems in popular destinations. The Louvre recently closed because the facilities cannot handle the visitor volumes. A dozen deaths on a knife’s-edge ridge on Mt Everest caused by a line of mountaineers queued waiting to summit. We have witnessed the beaches of Thailand and Mexico being destroyed. There are far too many people in some popular destinations — Barcelona with a population of 1.6 million receives 30 million visitors a year, Venice hosts 20 million visitors annually with a population of 50,000.
This growing trend creates more global connection, cross-cultural exposure, more investment,and wonder. Better to avoid this capitalist overtourism and support sustainable community tourism.
September 27th is World Tourism Day. Every 100 jobs in tourism creates 43 support jobs - now consider there are 7.6 million people employed in this 3rd largest global industry. When traveling please ensure your tourism dollars support locally owned businesses and community families. Choose community-based tourism for enriching, intercultural experiences often with ancestral stewards. Discover different beliefs and social norms. Community tourism values people, collective wellbeing, and harmony with nature over profit, and helps sustain many communities. You will need an open mind to fully benefit from these experiences.
Our vision is to enhance the profile of community tourism nationally and internationally as a sustainable activity, which generates economic benefits to improve the quality of life in the communities involved and contributes to the conservation and defense of their territories and their way of life. We have a strong view about sustaining the environment for future generations. Working together to uncover hidden gems, and bring a unique collection of attractions, activities, and experiences in Ecuador to form a memorable travel adventure.
We are building a rich data base resource of community tourism opportunities which is widely used in schools in Ecuador. We provide an extensive network of contacts worldwide in post secondary education to facilitate inter-disciplinary projects. In Canada, according to new research released by The Conference Board of Canada and the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) the Indigenous tourism sector growth is outpacing Canadian tourism activity overall.
Our Partners within Ecuador that are responsible for the development of indigenous tourism, and ensuring the best possible intercultural experience.
Federación Plurinacional de Turismo Comunitario Del Ecuador ( FEPTCE )
Address: Republica E2-82 and Atahualpa. Quito-Ecuador.
Telephone: (+5932) 292 3872 / 224 0567
( there are more than 100 communities in Ecuador, 16 on the coast, 33 in the Amazon, and 52 in the Sierra of Ecuador that are members of FEPTCE. )
Pakariñan (Red de Turismo Comunitario Del Austro)
Corporación para el Desarrollo Del Turismo Comunitario de Chimborazo (Cordtuch)
Saraguro Rikuy (Red de Turismo Comunitario Del Pueblo Saraguro)
Sintaxis Spanish School & Travel
Runa Tupari Native Travel
Our Canadian Partners:
Indigenous Travel Experiences in Canada
Indigenous Tourism Assoc of Canada