The 'politicking' prevents the consolidation of the Quito Festivities

The ‘politicking’ prevents the consolidation of the Quito Festivities

Despite the investment, the authorities are not able to consolidate the event in time to attract tourism. What is expected in 2021?

During the last 10 years in which Quito has celebrated its founding parties (December 6) there have been four mayors. All with different proposals and budgets, but with a similarity: none of his projects has managed to consolidate in time and the number of visitors – instead of growing – has fallen.

Augusto Barrera and the ‘Fiesta Q’

During the period of the correista mayor, Augusto Barrera, the Quito Festivities underwent the transition due to the culmination of bullfights, after the popular consultation in May 2011.

While a part of the Quito residents assured that the festivities were not the same without the traditional ‘Feria Jesús del Gran Poder’ – which generated profits greater than the $ 30 million– Barrera tried to position the ‘Party Q’ in which the message was to say “no” to the consumption of alcohol with “a more cultural, more diverse, more cosmopolitan character,” according to the ex-bourgeois.

The party industry was among the 2 and 2, 8 million, but it failed to consolidate neither the cultural events nor the Quito business fairs that disappeared in the following administration.

The last parties of the period sought to receive at least a million people, but the average was 500 thousand visitors.

The 'politicking' prevents the consolidation of the Quito Festivities

Mauricio Rodas and a millionaire ‘Quitonía’

In his first year of term, Mauricio Rodas surprised by announcing that Sting it would play ‘free’ for the people of Quito. Although the concerts were free to the audience, the city was represented 4.8 million. The highest budget allocated for the foundation parties, in history.

Criticisms of the event focused on the fact that half of the budget went to the British artist, which decreased the number of events in other sectors of the city. In total there were less than 300 events.

That year, the visitors were 700 thousand, according to data from the Public Expenditure Observatory.

For the following years, Quitonía had a smaller budget but more events, although all focused on generating free concerts with international artists. “Never has had independent cultural spaces on agenda. There is always a pompous competition from the mayors to see who brings the most expensive artists and the promotion of the neighborhoods is put aside, ”says Ana Obando, cultural manager and dance teacher.

Stop now 2018, the income of visitors to Quito for the foundation festivities was 97,095, according to figures from Quito Tourism.

​​En promedio, un visitante nacional gasta $60 diarios en Quito y un extranjero $100.

The 'politicking' prevents the consolidation of the Quito Festivities

Jorge Yunda and the ‘parties of reconciliation’

Just like its predecessors. Jorge Yunda made a ‘clean slate’ of the Quito Festival projects and launched the reconciliation festivals, since the city had been emotionally and economically beaten by the october strike, in 2019.

The objective of the festivities in that year was that the programs go to the neighborhoods, so each of the zones had between three and four concerts. One of the twists of 2019 was that, for the first time, the Queen of Quito was not part of the official events, since Yunda eliminated the agreements with the contest, which, in addition, had to change its name.

Total, 104,757 visitors, between nationals and foreigners, They came to the capital for their parties.

For him 2020, 90% of events were virtual due to the covid-19 pandemic. The budget was reduced to the half and the hiring of national bands was prioritized.

The 'politicking' prevents the consolidation of the Quito Festivities

Santiago Guarderas and the festivities of the reactivation

This November 19, 2021, the official launch of the Quito Festivities takes place. People will return to face-to-face events, under the capacity allowed by the national COE.

Councilor René Bedón, president of the Tourism and Festivities Commission, explained that the budget will be 1.6 million dollars, but that if the private company – in charge of managing the concerts of international artists such as Fonseca – is added, the budget would increase to 1.9 million. This will be known until today (November 19).

To avoid crowds, the scheme of concerts and programs in neighborhoods and parishes will be maintained, although there will be a proclamation that will receive 2,500 people and there will be architectural mapping (projection of images on monuments and buildings). Wooden cars will not be made, unless an insurer wants to offer insurance plans for brokers in case of emergencies.

The objective of this year – says Bedón – rather than positioning an event later, seeks reactivate the economy after the crisis caused by the pandemic. “With the numbers that we already have, we are going to program the bicentennial (200 years of the battle of Pichincha) to generate a great tourist process,” adds the mayor.

For this year there are an estimated 324 events.

My opinion in 30 seconds

Raúl García, president of the Pichincha Chamber of Tourism.

Due to the ‘political’ issues, the promotion of the city has not been resumed and there is no scheme that establishes the activities and attractions of Quito, which is the gateway to the country.

There are very important attractions but a strategic plan has been lacking because they are not only the Foundation festivities but also to exploit that there is a historical heritage. But the last mayors have been more concerned with the votes, with their image and not with the city.

The 'politicking' prevents the consolidation of the Quito Festivities

My opinion in 30 seconds

Edgar Valencia, graduate in tourism and territorial planning.

A tourist project is established at the beginning of years, it is planned a year in advance so that the visitor already plans the trip; That is the success of festivities positioned like carnivals in Brazil or Colombia, for example. Tour operators should have the offer to promote Quito events, but unfortunately it does not exist because not even the name has been left by the mayors who enter and start everything from scratch.

The same with the city brand. If I ask you what is our logo? What is the slogan of Quito? What is your main holiday? Possibly you tell me one thing, a citizen another and there will be those who do not even know what to answer.

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