Following Earthquake, Quito Showing Signs of a Comeback
PHOTO: Quito is a UNESCO World Heritage City (Photo by Brian Major).
Continuing tourism infrastructure growth, including a series of new hotels, is leading Quito, Ecuador’s recovery from April’s magnitude –7.8 earthquake that killed at least 480 people and injured more than 4,000.
Last March the UNESCO World Heritage city celebrated the opening of the 146-room Wyndham Quito Airport Gran Condor, located within the Mariscal Sucre International Airport complex. Featuring an on-site restaurant, a lobby bar, a pool, plus health and fitness and spa facilities and four meeting rooms, the property is designed for leisure and business travelers who prefer proximity to the airport.
Scheduled to launch within the next two years are the San Patricio Hilton Hotel, which will open between late 2017 and early 2018 outside of Quito between the airport and Cumbaya, a rural district east of Quito, according to Quito Visitors’ Bureau officials.
Other properties currently under construction in and around Quito include the Eurobuilding Express Hotel, the Royal Green Hotel and a new Holiday Inn property. Canadian operator Accor is building a 130-room Ibis Hotel on Diego de Almagro and Bello Horizonte streets.
Another major city infrastructure project, Quito’s Metropolitan Convention Center, is currently under construction in Bicentennial Park, a green space that previously served as Quito’s international airport. The completed convention center complex will measure more than 26 square miles and include event venues, hotels, restaurants, shops and entertainment options.
This fall Quito will host Habitat III, a United Nations global summit focusing on sustainable urban and housing development. Scheduled for Oct. 17-20 at Quito’s Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana (Ecuadorian House of Culture), the summit will gather an estimated 30,000 international attendees including leading heads of state.
North America continues to be a key market for Quito; last year 161,856 U.S. residents traveled to Quito, representing 22.9 percent of all arrivals to the destination, said Gabriela Sommerfeld, general manager of Quito Turismo, a company of the Municipality of Quito.
The historic city has become a favorite among travelers seeking an immersion in Latin American cultures and as a launch point for travel to the Galapagos Islands.
“Quito offers experiences for all type sorts of travelers,” said Sommerfeld. “In Ecuador’s capital, tourists can access cloistered convents where nuns still live in. You can also find incredible colonial treasures like the El Carmen Bajo Convent, home to one of the oldest colonial nativity scenes of the country and the continent,” she said.
Several Quito hotels are currently offering special travel packages. The Hotel Le Parc is offering guests 15 percent off bookings of two nights or more in any room type. The offer is available through Aug. 31. The Hotel Patio Andaluz is offering 25 percent off bookings between June 1 and August. The Hotel Dann Carlton Quito is offering 25 percent off on a second night on a single or double room with a rate of $160.72.
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