QUITO, Ecuador – Ecuador has taken a tip from a far-flung neighbor about how to manage post-earthquake messaging.
EcuadorNOW, a tourism recovery campaign modeled after a program in Nepal, is a brand-new crowd sourced, social media campaign to advise friends and visitors that Ecuador is open for business as usual and that places they want to enjoy were physically unaffected by the recent earthquake. The campaign showcases Ecuador as it is now, with reliable, up-to-the minute information, facts, photos and stories.
The EcuadorNOW campaign is a collaboration between tourism experts, both national and international, with special support and guidance coming from the Nepalese team who launched NepalNow after Nepal’s spring 2015 earthquake.
The campaign encourages tourists in Ecuador now to help by;
• Taking a selfie holding the message: #I AM IN ECUADOR NOW (It could be hand-written or download a printed message here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/vmkzgodkfj6zydu/PRINT_OUT.pdf?dl=0)
• Share it on your own Facebook page, Twitter or lnstagram feed with the hashtags #EcuadorNOW or #StillStrong, or post it to the EcuadorNow Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/Ecuadornow-1070056193061989/?fref=ts (be sure to hit ‘like’ while there).
• To maximize the impact, please add a short story to your post. Something such as where you are, what you are doing, eating, looking at or discovering.
This tourism recovery campaign’s success depends on social media tools to crowd-source potential and current visitors to Ecuador to tell the story that all’s well and to please come! Messages to potential travelers, friends back home, tour operators and others play into how quickly tourism, a key economic driver, can get back on its feet.
A new website (soon to be launched), will keep the news and campaign current while inspiring the public to use these hashtags in social media; #EcuadorNOW and #StillStrong.
“How can people help Ecuador? Just keep visiting us,” says Jascivan Carvalho, EcuadorNOW advocate and president of the award-winning eco-tourism company Tropic. “Tourism can and should be a powerful tool for recovery.”
On April 16, 2016, the northern Pacific coast of Ecuador suffered a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that took more than 500 lives. Although many buildings and roads were extensively damaged, tourist favorites remain untouched. Unaffected were the High Andes, such cultural heritage sites as colonial centers and markets, the Galapagos Islands, cloud forests and the Amazon rainforest.
“The earthquake was terrible, but it did not destroy us. And so we bring you stories from travelers who have come here and seen for themselves the resilience of this land and its people. The hard data we provide will give you an accurate picture of when and where to make your trip. What we want most of all is for you to enjoy your trip to our country; safely, securely and without apprehension,” Carvalho adds.