And Cuenca came out ahead… As always. When Covid-19 took over the headlines, the city closed its doors, cocooned itself. Entrepreneurs in close collaboration with the public sector, private citizens, institutional representatives… faced with such daunting circumstances came together to figure out what to do. They didn’t isolate themselves. They worked diligently towards the light on the other side of the dark pandemic tunnel.
Quarentine affected everyone in one way or another; and the tourism industry went completely numb. Cuenca, however, took the bull by its horns like no other city in Ecuador. With great vision and efficacy, it dedicated its resources to promoting an image of biosecurity and sustainability. Of course, this task is simple when your city already follows a progressive agenda, as a fervent protector of heritage, nature and the equitable well-being of its citizens.
Defining Cuenca as a destination that has confronted the pandemic and has also learned from it, from its lessons and difficulties, has made it an even more desirable destination as travel resumes and the world begins to open up again. Ensuring the care and health of its people, through systems that allow establishments to certify the proper health procedures, for both locals and foreigners, including effective recycling and water management systems; raising awareness so that people consume local production; a website that offers information on these biosecurity and sustainability issues… are all different actions that have allowed the city to spring back into life.
Tourism is crucial for Cuenca’s economic wellbeing. The city is well aware of the importance of its cultural heritage. Its traditional Art Biennial will go on, despite any difficulties that other similar events have had to undergo, and won’t be virtual… it will once again take to the streets. It’s fifteenth edition, entitled “Biocene Biennial: changing Green for Blue”, will be yet another item of the events and activities agend for 2022. It is worth noting that, at the height of the pandemic, the city was officially recognized as World City of Crafts by the World Crafts Council (WCC).
Through its Tourism Foundation, many different actors have come together to reinvent the culinary offer in the city, one which has grown far beyond what it was even before the pandemic began. In addition, new tourism routes were created for those seeking nature. Over sixteen different hiking and wildlife observation routes were added (log onto www.caminantescuenca.org to check them out).
Joining forces with a different tour operators ready to serve explorers, offering all necessary services including professional guides, the focus is on supporting rural areas so that community organizations can also benefit. Well, you know, Cuenca is much more than just a pretty city.
Fundación Municipal Turismo para Cuenca
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