Lonely Planet Writer

Ecuador tricks tourists to encourage more travel

Flag of Ecuador.
Flag of Ecuador. Image by Yamil Salinas Martinez / CC BY-SA 2.0

In an effort to encourage its citizens to travel more within the country, Ecuador’s tourism ministry along with the ministry of transport and public works and Ecuadorean airline Tame carried out an elaborate ruse on a group of 40 tourists. A video captured the stunt, which features unwitting Ecuadorians boarding a plane, filling out immigration forms and passing through simulated customs in Golfito, Costa Rica. Once on the ground, the tourists take part in adventure activities such as hiking, swimming and rafting – and even purchase fake Costa Rican souvenirs at the airport. Authorities then reveal to the group that they never left Ecuador. Road signs were altered and cell phone and GPS jammers were used to keep the tourists from discovering the hoax. Read more: ticotimes.net