In a recent video released by the tourism board of Ecuador students were tricked into believing that they were heading to Golfito, Costa Rica when, in reality, they were still in Ecuador.
The video begins with students from a university in Ecuador that are taken on a free trip where they believe that they are going to Golfito, Costa Rica. Everyone looks excited and happy. Their passports get stamped as if they are entering Costa Rica (legality?). They do all the outdoor activities that have been perfected to a high art form in Costa Rica such as river rafting, zip lining and the like.
When they are brought back to the airport to head home, they are told that they were actually in Ecuador the whole time. The students are all happy. The End. Except, the question still lingers on as to why they needed to implicate Costa Rica in their story at all. Could it be that Costa Rica has been successfully doing what Ecuador is just now attempting for many more years? It is certainly a flattering statement to the amount of respect that Costa Rica’s tourism industry has garnered.
The numbers don’t lie, either. With some four million and rising annual visitors to Costa Rica, the secret is out that this is one of the most sought after vacation destinations in Latin America, and the recent video from Ecuador is just another affirmation of that fact. Some people may feel slightly offended that Costa Rica was used in the video, but they should feel proud that they are getting that level of respect.
Another question that comes to mind is would the effect be the same if they had taken foreign travelers to Ecuador without their knowledge? If you were planning on traveling through Costa Rica, you might be a little put off to know that you ended up somewhere else. Then again, Ecuador went so far as to fake an immigration office, road signs and much more just to prove to students that travel in Ecuador could be good, too. Why go to so much trouble?
In the end, the new video should be considered a flattering comment on the professionalism of Costa Rica’s tourist industry, and a compliment on the beauty of the country. You can never replace Costa Rica, but you can try to imitate it.
See for yourself here: