Ecuador is a less economically developed country (LEDC) in South America. It takes its name from the equator, which runs through it. Like many of the world's poorer countries Ecuador relies on primary products for its trade with the outside world. Oil, bananas and coffee are three of its most important commodities, and roses have recently been added to the list.
Like many LEDC countries, Ecuador is keen to develop tourism as an alternative source of income. Payment for tourist activities is usually in US dollars rather than the national currency, the sucre, which has little value outside Ecuador. Tourism is currently Ecuador's seventh most important source of earnings. The government is hoping to increase its importance because tourism provides a valuable source of employment, as well as foreign earnings.
Ecuador contains 2% of the Amazon rainforest within its borders, and this is an area which could be developed for tourism. Tropical rainforests are the richest habitat on Earth, supporting a greater variety of plants and animals than any other habitat. The hot, wet climate encourages trees and plants to grow quickly. The rainforest typically has a layered structure.
Tributaries of the River Amazon rise in the Ecuadorian Andes and How eastwards to the Amazon basin. The main tributary in this region is the Aguarico River which itself has three main tributaries: the Cuyabeno, Sablo and Pacuyacu Rivers. The Ecuadorian government and the indigenous people of this area are keen to develop tourism because it will provide jobs and income.
They are also anxious to protect the rainforest and maintain the traditional way of life of local peoples. They believe this can be done through ecotourism, which is tourism 'directed towards exotic, often threatened natural environments, especially intended to support conservation efforts'. This is a form of sustainable development because it does not, in theory, harm the environment.
Ecotourism is not mass tourism. It is aimed at smaller groups of people who have particular interests – wildlife enthusiasts, bird watchers, botanists and photographers. It is this type of visitor that Ecuador would like to attract to the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve.
Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve
The reserve is considered to be a 'hot spot' of biodiversity, undamaged and remote. Small groups of visitors are welcomed and looked after by guides from the indigenous Cofane and Cuyaheno tribes. Access is difficult. From Quito, the capital of Ecuador, a 35 minute flight to Lago Agrio is followed by a 2 hour bus journey to the Aguarico River. A 3 hour speed-boat trip then takes visitors to their accommodation on a 22-room floating hotel.
From their base on the 'Hotel' guides take visitors on expeditions to see the plant and animal life. These expeditions are either on foot or by dugout canoe. Local Cofane guides explain the medicinal uses of plants and trees in the rainforest, and trained naturalists guide tourists along the trails and waterways, where they point out the many species of mammal, reptile, insect and bird which can be seen and heard. These include sloths, jaguars, monkeys, parrots, toucans, caimans and anacondas.
A further 2 hours by boat takes visitors on to a base camp in the forest where they spend nights in the jungle under nets, but open to the elements.
One of the aims of these activities is to make people aware of the natural world and give them respect for the environment of the indigenous people. At the Cofane interpretation centre tourists can see how local people live in harmony with their environment. Visitors are not allowed to take-photographs because this would be too intrusive. They can buy items such as beads made from local seeds which have been strung together.
The income gained from this type of ecotourism is used not only to help local people earn money, but also to maintain the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve. Places like this cannot support large-scale tourism but it is hoped that those who are able to visit will realise the importance of such unique natural environments.
Answer the questions:
What is ecotourism?
Why can LEDCs benefit from it?
Eight Ways To Protect Your Health While Travelling
You're finally on your way. By now, you should have taken all recommended precautions for the area you're visiting. These eight tips represent good general advice for anyone who is travelling beyond Canada or Western Europe, although they may be more applicable for some destinations than others.
Packing: Be sure to pack all prescription medications and other health-related supplies and documentation in a carry-on bag, in case your luggage gets lost or stolen. Carry the drugs in their original containers, and keep a copy of the prescription for emergency refills, if needed. This may sound like common sense, but keep your destination(s) in mind as you pack. Sunny, warm climates require sun-protective eyewear and clothing (hats, lightweight long-sleeved shirts and pants) and maximum SPF sunblock. If insect-borne diseases such as malaria are common, long sleeves and pants and closed shoes are a must-and don't forget to take your preventive anti-malaria medication as prescribed. For colder climates, be sure to pack sufficiently warm clothing.
Air travel: On long international trips, be sure to get up and walk around the cabin every hour or two. This helps prevent the formation of blood clots in the legs, a condition known as deep-vein thrombosis. Drink plenty of water.
Jet lag and medications: Just as crossing time zones can throw off your sleep patterns, it can complicate medication schedules. Ask your doctor's advice about dealing with this problem.
Food- and water-borne illnesses: Taking precautions when you drink and eat overseas can help guard against traveler's diarrhea and more serious conditions such as cholera, typhoid, and hepatitis A. Sanitation standards overseas often aren't as rigorous as they are here in the U.S., and some developing countries use human waste as fertilizer. Thus, the usual advice to ‘not drink the water’ isn't sufficient because foods can be contaminated, too. The following tips should help you guard against illness:
Canned or bottled carbonated drinks are safest. If you have to drink tap water, make sure it has been boiled or that you filter or purify yourself using approved equipment. Bottled water can be risky because you don't know the actual source; however, that's a judgment call you'll need to make.
Do not ingest ice cubes or tap water in any amount. Do not brush your teeth with tap water or drink any accidentally while showering.
Avoid street vendors as much as possible. When eating out, your best choices are well-cooked, very hot entrees, pasteurized dairy products, and fruits you can peel yourself. Avoid pre-prepared salad items, warm or homemade dairy products, seafood, and premade foods that have been reheated, like casseroles and lasagna.
Realize that even the most careful travelers can develop a case of diarrhea. If that happens, make use of the medications and rehydration solutions in your first-aid kit and drink plenty of fluids. If your symptoms are severe, seek medical attention immediately in case you have something more serious than traveler's diarrhea, like cholera or typhoid. That leads us to the next piece of advice .
Seek medical attention: Don't let fear keep you from seeking medical attention overseas if you have symptoms that indicate possible severe illness. What you think is the flu or a stomach bug could be something more serious and even life threatening, like malaria or cholera.
Travelling by car and bus: Motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of death among international travelers. Always wear your seatbelt and avoid taxis or buses that seem unsafe or too crowded.
Water safety: Avoid swimming or even dipping your feet and hands in freshwater lakes or ponds, which can lead to infection by water-borne parasites. One of the most common examples is schistosomiasis, which occurs when the eggs of the blood fluke Schistosoma penetrate the skin. It is treatable, but it can cause damage to internal organs. Also, use caution when swimming or boating. Drowning actually causes more fatalities among international travelers than infectious diseases do.
Avoid insect bites: This is absolutely essential for preventing diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, dengue fever, and leishmaniasis (also called sand fly disease). You should take preventive measures throughout the day to decrease your risk of infection. The most effective insect repellents contain diethyltoluamide (DEET) as an active ingredient. This is a powerful chemical, so it's best to use it sparingly on all exposed skin (avoiding cuts and sores) and only when spending time outdoors. Wash it off when you return indoors, and use a non-DEET repellent such as permethrin for clothes and other surfaces. When outdoors, especially at night, wear long pants and long sleeves. Protect yourself overnight by draping mosquito netting over your bed-although your need for this may be determined by your accommodations. Enclosed, air-conditioned rooms are generally considered safe .
Answer the question:
What should you take into account while travelling?
YOUR WAY TO AMERICA
From the sunkissed beaches of Hawaii to the spectacular scenery of the Rockies, the sophistication of cosmopolitan New York and the laughs and thrills of the theme parks, the U.S. offers excitement, variety and beauty in large measures. And what better way to experience the wonders of this vast country than with American Airlines Holidays. As part of American Airlines, the world’s largest airline, we can offer the most comprehensive flying programme acroos the Atlantic, backed up by an extensive network of internal flights. Then there’s our immense buying power which helps keep our prices down. And of course, as specialists we can offer in depth product knowledge and high standards of personal service. Great Variety, Great Value, Great Service – just three simple reasons why American Airlines Holidays are your best bet for a superb American adventure.
Travel in Style
Let your holiday begin the moment you step on board the plane. All our flights are operated by American Airlines whose fleet of LuxuryLiners and LuxuryJets is one of the youngest in the world. Complimentary cocktails, steamed towels prior to every meal and printed menus from which to choose your entree are all part of the international service. Even the seats have been specially designed for the utmost comfort, and of course there’s that extra bit of leg room afforded on a scheduled service.
American Airlines fly direct from Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow nonstop to 7 U.S. gateway airports and our comprehensive domestic network which serves over 200 cities throughout the country – so you can travel in style all the way to your ultimate destination. Great Holidays begin with a Great Airline.
Answer the questions:
What for you is most important from an airline? Put the following in order of imporatnce: safety, comfort, punctual departures and arrivals, good food and wine, attentive cabin staff.
Flying is probably one of the safest ways to travel, but there can be problems. Discuss what can go wrong on the ground and in the air.
Travel: With daily departures throughout the year and a wide range of departure points, our holidays by air, rail, coach and car offer total flexibility at timings to suit you.
Accomodation: As the leading tour operator to Holland we offer the widest choice of carefully selected hotels from modest one star hotels for a budget break, to top of the range five star luxury for that very special occasion.
Flexibility: If the holiday you require is not in the brochure, we will be pleased to quote you a special price. We are happy to accept bookings for hotel accomodation only. We can arrange multi-centre holidays combining any of our featured destinations as well as holidays in conjunction with our sister companies specialising in Paris, Belgium and Disneyland Paris.
Prices: Our excellent reputation, years of experience and position as market leader enable us to negotiate the best possible holiday prices.
Special offers: We offer you even better value for money with special offers at many hotels at certain times of the year e.g. 3 nights for the price of 2, reductions for midweek stays, free or reduced price meals. Please refer to individual hotel descriptions for details.
Reservations: Instant reservations and late bookings even up to the day of departure are our speciality. Our friendly specialist staff have all been thoroughly trained to offer you expert assistance. Every one of them knows Amsterdam and will be pleased to answer any query you may have.
Our Amsterdam Office: We have our own Representative Office in the centre of Amsterdam open 6 days a week. Our friendly staff are there to provide any help or information you may require during your stay. We also offer a 24 hour emergency telephone service providing assistance at any time – day or night.
Travel Pack: With your tickets you will receive full travel documentation including city map, detailed itineraries and our exclusive “Passport to Amsterdam” information booklet.
Answer the questions:
What types of holidays have you been on and which do you like best? Why?
Describe in details your last trip.