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Hosp 105 - Introduction to Travel and Tourism

Bernarda Franco - 0905609

NYIT - Fall 2018
Prof. Alan Fairbairn

Capstone Project

A. Section 1

A.1 Destination: ​Lagunas del Cajas, Azuay, Ecuador

Lagunas del Cajas (Lakes of “El Cajas”) is a national park located in the south of
Ecuador, in the western cordillera of the Andes Mountains. The most common access to the site
start from the nearest city, Cuenca which is located 33Km from the site. There are more than
1000 bodies of water throughout the 70,533.760 acres of the site and 235 well defined lakes.
The climate in the area is cold and at around 0 to 9 Degrees Celsius.

A.2​​ ​Attractions and Activities:

- Flora and Fauna: ​In the eastern side of the park is located a sub-andean forest that is
mainly composed of tree species, and a great diversity of orchids and shrubs. There are
also many plants that only grow in this area due to it being above 4,000 meters above
sea level and next to water. There are also many different animals that are only located
in the Ecuadorian moors such as the Mountain Tapir or other more common animals
such as the Puma or Condor.
- Loma De Tres Cruces: ​The highest point in the park where the water is divided into
two; one going to the Amazon rainforest, and the other one going to the Pacific Ocean.
- Qhapac Ñan: ​Pre-columbian buildings from the Cañari and Inca civilizations.
- Fishing
- Hiking
- Photography

A.3 Stakeholders:
- Ecuadorian Government
- Ministerio de Turismo (Ministry of Tourism)
- Asociación Nacional de Operadores de Turismo Receptivo del Ecuador, OPTUR
(National Operators of Tourism of Ecuador):​ “It is the mission of OPTUR to lead
receptive tourism in Ecuador, promoting responsible activity with the environment, the
community and the market”. -
- ASECUT: ​Asociación Ecuatoriana De Agencias De Viajes, Operadores De Turismo Y
Mayoristas (Ecuadorian Association of travel agencies, tourism operators and majors.
- Tourism employees, tourism professionals and tourism consultants
- Tourism education and training centers: Eg. True Ecuador Educational Travel
- Travellers, including business travellers, and visitors to tourism destinations, sites and
- Local population and host community: People living in the Islands
- Institutions engaged in financing tourism projects: Eg. Ministerio de Economía y
Finanzas (Ministry of Economy and Finances)
- Ministerio del Ambiente (Ministry of the Environment)
- Municipio de Cuenca
- Transportation agencies: CIFA Internacional, Cooperativa Loja, Trans Esmeraldas,
Cooperativa Flor del Valle, Cooperativa de transporte Panamericana
- Airlines: Tame, Latam Ecuador

A.3 Facilities:

The hotel infrastructure in the city of Cuenca has enough hotels and hostels and amenities for
visitors going to El Cajas.
There are no Hotels in El Cajas due to it being a Protected National park. The only way people
can stay in the park at night is if they camp.
There are many hotels in the city of Cuenca. Many of these are Colonial buildings in the center
of the city and their size varies from 10 rooms to 70 rooms. The biggest one is “Hotel Italia” and
has 73 rooms. The most famous hotel is the “Hotel Oro Verde” and it has 78 rooms available.

A.4 Transportation:

The main transportation in and around the city of Cuenca to get to the park are public travel
buses. Because the park is located in a rural area, and high in the Andes Mountains, there are
no airports near the park; the closest one is in the city of Cuenca located 33Km from the park.
There are many Bus travel companies in the area, but the most well known is the ​“Vanservice
transporte y Turismo”. A ​ ccording to their website, the company is the most outstanding and
reliable tourist transport company in the country. They have more than 20 years of experience
​ hey provide
and their usual clients are hotels such as the prestigious hotel ​“Hotel Inca Real”. T
personalized tours in the newest buses available in the market. The buses they use vary from
small buses with 10 seats for families or bigger buses with 50 seats for a big group. They have
40 buses available each day.

B. Section 2

B.1 Tourism Market

- Adventurers: ​The park would be good for young people in their 20s who like adventure
and exploring. Many of the activities such as hiking, fishing and camping are activities
that are best for people who have a lot of stamina and energy. Because it is a national
park, the trails are not meant for people who cannot walk for long distances. Because it
is located in a place with mountains, amazon rainforest and the pacific ocean, Ecuador is
a place that has attracted many young adventurers from South America, North America
and Europe who like to explore and are physically highly active.
- Older: ​Because of the scenery, nature and relaxed way of life in the city of Cuenca,
older tourists who just want to travel to see beauty and nature would also like to go to
this place.

C. Section 3

C. 1 Infrastructure:
- Airports: Mariscal Lamar International Airport, located in Cuenca. This is the only airport
in the city and the municipality has been planning to expand the airport as it mostly
receives flights from the two other main cities in Ecuador, Guayaquil and Quito. They are
planning to expand and fix the airport due to it being unable to operate during heavy
storms. According to ​Metro News Ecuador t​ he runway will be expanded 300 meters that
will also help to reduce the risk for accidents.
- Roads: “According to a recent survey, Ecuador ranks fourth in quality of infrastructure in
Latin America, only behind Panama, Chile and Mexico. The survey, conducted by the
InterAmerican Federation of Construction Industries as part of the Global
Competitiveness Report for 2014-2015, ranked 18 countries in the region. The ranking
represents rapid advancement for Ecuador, which ranked ninth in 2008 and sixth in
2012, overtaking neighbors Colombia and Peru.” In January, Ecuador was ranked
second in South America, after, Chile, for the quality of its highways. The ranking, by a
federation of highway contractors, represented a five-position improvement over the
previous ranking in 2009. - Cuenca High Life
- Train Service: There are currently no train service in the southern part of Ecuador and
around the site. The train in ecuador operates in the North and around the coast.
- Hospitals: ​“Although the low cost of health care in Cuenca has long been a draw for
foreigners relocating to the city, it is beginning to catch the interest of international
medical tourism companies.” T ​ here are many public and private hospitals in Cuenca, the
best known one is the Mount Sinai Hospital. Staff speaks english and spanish. Because
of this, many tourists decide to go to this hospital. made a list of the top 5 hospitals in Ecuador, three of which are located
in Cuenca, near “El Cajas”. Hotel Universitario del Rio (Large), Hospital Santa
Ines(Small) and the previously mentioned Hospital Mt. Sinai (Large). Currently none of
these hospitals have plans to expand.

C.2 Travel Intermediaries

- Local Municipality: (Municipality of Cuenca): Helps provide information that are important
to tourists such as the good status of the infrastructure such as the cheap accessibility to
medical services.
- Ecuadorian Government: Helps promote the status of the infrastructure and the well
planned highways that make the site accessible to other areas of the country and nearby
countries in South America such as Colombia, Peru, Chile, Bolivia and Argentina. They
can also create more infrastructure to increase the accessibility to “El Cajas” from other
areas of the country such as from the nearby major city “Guayaquil”.
- Mariscal Lamar Airport: Could enhance their facilities and expand the airport to allow
inbound tourism from other countries that do not have access by highways such as
North American Countries, African Countries, Asian Countries or European countries

D. Section 4

D.1 Event:

El Cajas does not have a set facility to help tourists camp. There is so much to see in the
national park; views that you can only get in the Andes mountains at night that many people
cannot experience because they do not want to camp alone and out in the open, specially
unexperienced tourists. I think It would be a good idea to have several facilities in safe areas in
the park where tourists could go and rent out gear to camp in a set area protected by

Since El Cajas already attracts adventurous people, camping facilities would make people
spend the night or several nights in the park. This would benefit the local economy since the
tourists would have to eat, sleep, take sightseeing tours and also photography tours that would
benefit the economy indirectly as the tourists themselves would be promoting “El Cajas” through
social media and influencing their acquaintances to travel to the area. This would mean more
income from tourists and more tourism in general.

Since Tourists would also have to eat, and since they are “adventurous” chances are, they will
probably go to the existing places where they can fish. This would also help the existing food
businesses in the area of “El Cajas”.

There would need to be small infrastructure such as buildings to provide basic services to the
tourists. Water is very cheap in Ecuador and it would be very easy to provide water to cook or
shower to the tourists.
E. Section 5


Expected Total / month


Travel Guides $8 Adults, $4 Child $33,600 Adult, $2,400 Child

140 Adults a day 20 children = 36,000

Interest Income/other 2,000 2,000

Tourist shopping 160 people per day 96,000

$20 per person



Online Marketing $15,000 $15,000

Production/Printing $7,000 $7,000

Photography/ Video $3,000 $3,000

Brochure distribution $5,000 $5,000

Internet Website $3,000 $3,000

Camping Facilities upkeep $2,000 $2,000

Water/Electricity fees Water $11, Electricity $70 $81

Camping Gear $10,000/one time

$35,081 + 10,000/one time

F. Section 6

F.1 Campgrounds and economy:

According to a study done by the University of Centria, University of Applied sciences, Camping
and nature is a very common practice around the world. It is a recreational activity that is usually
practiced individually or with families during vacations or their free time. ​“The practice of
camping is beneficial to individuals because it gives natural, social and educational knowledge
when being practiced, and this can be the reason why many people still practice it, especially
youths.”​ explains the author Engama Bindele. According to the study, Nature based tourism is
“one of the fastest growing tourism sectors nowadays”. ​ The study also found that people from
highly urbanized areas in the world prefer to do nature based activities due to the little access
they have to the natural environment.

“Nature tourism is valued by the tourism industry based on the visitors’ demands, activities,
andvarious experiences in relation with the nature. When on vacation, the location for most
activities is often in the natural environment as this determines the success of such trips.
Therefore, nature can be seen as crucial to the visitor’s experience and at the same time,
enhances the visitor’s experience. All these factors complement each other and thereof make
up the visitor’s total satisfaction with their vacation.”

According to a report from the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), in the United States, outdoor
recreation generates $80 billion in federal, state and local tax revenue. Also, Outdoor recreation
spending supports jobs for 6.1 million Americans. “The outdoor recreation economy grows when
consumers spend on travel-related expenses such as airfares, rental cars, lodging,
campgrounds, restaurants, groceries, gasoline, and souvenirs. Not only are parks, waters, and
trails critical to businesses and job creation, outdoor recreation is a major contributor to healthy
and productive communities, the report

Tourism economics, an Oxford economics company submitted a report to the Campground

Owners of New York, that states “In 2015, New York campgrounds generated a total statewide
economic impact of more than $1.2 billion. This total economic impact of $1.2 billion included
$456 million in employee salaries and wages, which supported more than 11,500 total jobs in
New York State”.

F.2 Transportation and economy

According to the statistics provided by the Ministry of Tourism in Ecuador, 61% of tourists arrive
to the country by plane. This means that in order for Tourism increase in “El Cajas”, there needs
to be more accessibility from the largest city in Ecuador, Guayaquil through highways. Another
option is to expand the existing airport that is located in Cuenca in order to be able to bring in
tourists from other countries.

34% of tourists arrive to the country by car. This is good because the road infrastructure in
Ecuador at the moment is ranked the second best in South America, nearby countries can
easily access the country, however, there needs to be more road accessibility to the site from
other cities; not only Cuenca.

In 2015 the rate of tourists from other countries increased 6.4% in Ecuador vs. 2014 which
meant a revenue of 388 Million USD from tourism during the first four months of the year.

F.3 Outdoor recreation and Demographics

According to a study produced by the Kampgrounds of America .INC (KOA), The age group of
people who have the intent of increasing camping goes as follows: 51% Millennials, 44% Gen X,
24% Baby Boomers and 17% Mature.

F.4 Tourist Demographics

According to the Ministry of Tourism in Ecuador, most of the tourists who visit Ecuador come
from Colombia, The United States, Peru, Venezuela and Argentina.
According to a 2011 - 2015 report from the Ministry of Tourism of Ecuador, most of the tourists
who visit Ecuador, are between the ages 20 and 39.

According to the same report, the months that El Cajas is mostly visited is August and
According to the same report, most of the tourists who enter Ecuador, are students or seller of

Tourism Statistics in Ecuador (2015)

El Tiempo Diario de Cuenca (Cuenca Newspaper)

“​Yesterday, at the Tourist Interpretation Center, an environmental education day was held, in
which 23 young people from the United States participated, who visited this site first.
The cold, natural beauty and landscape have made tourists always want to return. "It's
wonderful what I've seen. I hope to return very soon, "said one of them. Vanessa Calle with her
family, is a frequent visitor. For her, each trip "is a rediscovery of this area". Quezada said that
the average number of daily visits is 160, with the number tripling in the holidays of the parties
of Cuenca in November, Carnival and Easter” ​(Study by the Ministry of the environment in El

Travel Guide price:​​ Vanservice $8 adults, $4 children

Cost of Electricity and Water in Cuenca: ​$11 Water and $70 electricity

Information of El Cajas National Park:

Specialists of travel in Ecuador:

2011 - 2015 Tourism Report Ecuador: