Interview with Mrs. Carla Cárdenas, General Manager at Quito Tourism Board

  • Quito is already a world reference for cultural tourism, why bet on creative tourism?

That’s right, Quito has been a world benchmark for cultural tourism for more than 40 years as a World Heritage Site, declared by Unesco. It is a city full of architectural and artistic treasures that are treasured in our Historic Center: one of the best-preserved and most alive on the continent.

The destination is committed to Creative Tourism, since it significantly complements the cultural offer, through the interaction between visitors and intangible heritage.

The uniqueness and proximity of Quito’s culture allows the development of multiple activities that encourage visitors to experience total immersion in the destination. 

The uniqueness and proximity of Quito’s culture allows the development of multiple activities that encourage visitors to experience total immersion in the destination. In this way, Quito opens its doors to tourism-oriented so that all audiences, during any time of the year, give free rein to their creativity.

  • What is the potential of Quito to develop creative tourism?

We want our travelers to get out of the conventional and get to know our culture from a totally different perspective, through experiential activities that can only be experienced in Quito, since, without a doubt, its privileged location in the Center of the World influences that our city is a space for fascinating encounters.

The destination offers authentic, creative and sustainable experiences. We continue to treasure, in each of our corners, the different and exotic that our culture provides. That is what Quito offers, through Creative Tourism, to those visitors who seek authenticity and fully immerse themselves in the destination, giving the consumer an active role and making them a co-creator of experiences.


  • Could you introduce us to some of the many experiences designed within the framework of this program?

Quito has a fairly wide potential and spaces to develop this type of tourism; from cooking classes that will immerse you in the aromas of our traditional flavors, or learning how to make the best chocolate in the world, to traditional jewelry and painting workshops; tour agroecological farms and experience the varied flavors of our craft beer and high altitude coffee. You will be able to learn more about the fascinating world of the famous Ecuadorian rose and delight yourself with the art and culture that this city has to offer.

  • What are the profiles of travelers you want to reach?

We want to reach all those travelers, lovers of culture, art, heritage, who are looking for a totally new destination, with different and authentic activities and tourist attractions.


  • Do you see them as complementary with existing segments like MICE?

Creative Tourism allows it to be a differentiating component when holding events. Currently, the new trend in the MICE segment is to develop work meetings taking advantage of spaces that allow them to interact with the destination and the people who are part of it.


  • Does creative tourism seem like a good option in times of a pandemic?

Of course, the essence of Creative Tourism is innovation through experiences. It is the ideal opportunity to promote this type of tourism since it allows the destination to reinvent itself and propose different things, aligned with biosafety protocols, so that the visitor’s experience is unique and unforgettable.
In addition, these types of experiential activities are not massive, but rather, they are mostly developed in small groups, or in a personalized way.


  • And in general, can the virtues of creative tourism be appreciated as a tool for sustainable development?

Creative Tourism is a sustainable development tool because it rescues and enhances the local culture, generating direct benefits for the community. In addition, it offers the opportunity to train to generate different proposals where tourists are involved.
This type of tourism also includes the entire value chain that the destination has for experiential activity, the owners of historical legacies, which come from generation to generation, transcending knowledge over time.

  • Quito is part of the Creative Tourism Network (R). In what aspect is it important to work in this network?

In 2018, Quito received the CreativeFriendlyDestination label, within the framework of the International Conference on Tourism Communication and Marketing and for being part of Quito’s affiliation to the Creative Tourism Network®, an opportunity that has allowed the destination to be in a showcase at an international level, to show the potential that the city has, not only in tourist attractions but in topics of knowledge, culture, tradition, history, etc. In addition, their support is essential to promote the destination, through webinars, consultancies, among others.

More about Quito Creative Tourism