Ecuador Pretended to Be Costa Rica to Increase Tourism?

his is one of the more bizarre stories which I have read recently: apparently, Ecuador pretended to be Costa Rica in an elaborate scheme in attempting to fool 40 tourists in order to help encourage its citizens to travel domestically — and after partaking in such outdoor activities as whitewater rafting, hiking and swimming, authorities reportedly revealed to the group that they had never left Ecuador.

The alleged stunt — supposedly perpetrated by Tame, which is an airline based in Ecuador; the Ministry of Tourism of Ecuador; and the Ministry of Transport and Public Works — prompted a firm and definitive response from the Tourism Institute of Costa Rica, Casa Presidencial and the Foreign Ministry, according to this article written by Zach Dyer of The Tico Times. “They demanded Costa Rica’s likeness be removed from all materials and issued a letter of protest, according to a statement from the ministry.”

Here is the video from La Nación Costa Rica:

Road signs were altered; “jammers” were used to keep the tourists from being able to use cellular devices; banners advertising the national brand beer of Costa Rica were hung; and fake immigration forms were completed by the tourists, who even “passed through simulated customs, complete with ersatz entry stamps.”

Legal action is supposedly being considered by attorneys representing interests in Costa Rica.

I personally wonder how much this campaign cost the government of Ecuador — as well as whether or not it was successfully effective in accomplishing its goal…

…if in fact this stunt indeed actually happened.

Are you more encouraged to visit Ecuador than you did before you read this article and viewed the video?

The image at the top of this article of tourists on a whitewater rafting expedition is a screen shot from the video by La Nación Costa Rica.

One thought on “Ecuador Pretended to Be Costa Rica to Increase Tourism?”

  1. Lindy says:

    I think it’s a genius ad campaign. I don’t see a cause of action for Costa Rica and furthermore, bringing suit will only put more of a spotlight on the ad campaign.

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