It has to be said that, in this part of Latin America, Ecuador isn't a shining example of stability. The country has suffered an attempted Coup d'Etat, the economy is battling against global crises, whilst the tourist industry is performing well and set to continue its upward trend. Another reason why you should organise a trip to Ecuador.
The most important decision in recent years to be taken by Ecuador is, without a doubt, the adoption of the Dollar in 2000. It meant that inflation dropped from 96% to just 2%! At the same time, people's purchasing power was reduced to one of the lowest rates in South America. Which in turn led to a period of instability. A President was removed by the Parliament and another declared a state of emergency. Finally, Rafael Correa became Head of State. He kick-started the economy, amended the Constitution and then dealt with an attempted Coup d'Etat. On a national scale, things seem better today but the country has, nonetheless, persistent problems with international relations. After have expelled the US Ambassador, Correa then goaded the US government by giving political asylum to Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks.
After the 1999 economic crisis, which saw a massive loss of revenue and left the country bankrupt, Ecuador decided to adopt the Dollar as its official currency. Even though people's purchasing power plummeted, economic growth has managed to reach aournd 7% per annum.
Today, the country is the world's largest banana producer, accounting for 30% of world production. Make the most of your trip to Ecuador by kissing goodbye to your diet! Other big agricultural exports include coffee and cocoa.
Fishing is another sector where Ecuador comes out near the top, its shrimp production being the third largest in the world.
The economy's flagship product is crude oil. This black gold accounts for 50% of the country's export value and 25% of its total revenue.
Each year around one million tourists descend on Ecuador. Most head to the Galapagos Islands, which is the country's top tourist destination. Recently the country has diversified and Ecuador now actively promotes community-based tourism. This has seen substantial growth and tourism now accounts for a quarter of the country's revenue. However, for this upward trend to continue, Ecuador needs to better preserve its environment, which is suffering as a result of oil production.