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  1. WELCOME AGENT LEARNERS • How would you like to confidently speak with clients about a single country of iconic South American cultures, landscapes, historic sites, markets and flavors? • Or a place Lonely Planet has on its Top 10 ‘best places to visit’, and ranks as ‘best overall for off-the-beaten-track experiences, activities and food’. A nation on National Geographic’s “Top 20 Must-see Places” for 2013 and with two cities (Quito and Cuenca) on Trip Advisor ‘Top 25 Best Destinations in South America’? • This is Ecuador — a country where conscious, sustainable tourism is married with incomparable ecological and cultural diversity. • If you sell South America (or want to), Ecuador needs to be a ‘top-of-mind’ part of your client conversations.

  2. COURSE BASICS • Digital Library Resources • Let’s begin by understanding our lesson interface and learner support features. You might want to write down our support contact information. We want youre-learning experience to be hassle-free and rewarding. • Course Technical Support: or1-877-727-0035 (M-F 9a -5p) • This program will rely on a number of on-demand resources. Taken as a whole, these tools will get you confidently talking with your clients about Ecuador vacations. Let’s take a moment to get acquainted with these items… Course outline Continue arrow

  3. COURSE GOALS • By completing this Ecuador Specialist course, you’ll be prepared to confidently offer Ecuador to clients, while closing sales through an assortment of reputable tour operators and suppliers. • The Basics: Understand Ecuador's key benefits for the North American traveler; explain Ecuador’s geography, key regions, climate, and historic milestones. Confidently address client questions and concerns about topics ranging from entry requirements, to cuisine, safety, domestic transportation, sports, shopping and cultural encounters. • How To Use/Share Resources: Gain access to maps, our vacation planner, supplier resources, key Ecuador contacts, and sales boosting strategies. • Client Scenarios: Gain confidence speaking with four ‘typical’ client types, ideally suited to explore Ecuador's key niche specialty products. Understand Ecuador’s most popular client itineraries (and recommended days per region) and North American-based tour operator sales opportunities.

  4. LET’S REVIEW SOME BASICS • Ecuador is located on the Equator in the northwest of South America. It borders Colombia and Peru to the north, Peru to the east and south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. • With a surface area of 283,561 square km (about the size of Wyoming), the geography of its four regions is very diverse: Galapagos, Pacific Coast, Andes, Amazon. • 3. For a general grasp of some basic facts about Ecuador, take a moment to again review your Desk Reference. On page 10 we cover topics such as climate, population, currency and safety. Mastering these facts will make you more confident bringing Ecuador into conversations with clients.

  5. PACIFIC COAST • Plains, rolling hills and expanses of farm land, sand and sea stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the foothills of the Andes – these are the first impressions enticing visitors to fall in love with the Ecuadorian coastal region. • Beaches, coves, cliffs, grasslands, historic towns and industrial centers, among others, make up the Coastal Region. Towards the east, this gentle land gradually merges with an imposing natural wall, namely the Andes, home to the people and customs of the Ecuadorian highlands. 

  6. AMAZON • Don’t worry — in our next Chapter, we’ll discuss how these regions of Ecuador are distinct from similar geographies in other South American countries. • This will help you explain to clients how Ecuador compares and contrasts with its neighbors. • Now we enter one of the most breathtaking biodiversity reserves on the planet. • The Amazon Region’s tropical rain forest extends from the foothills of the Andes Mountains with their steep ridges, where streams and waterfalls wind their way down into the deep jungle, the humid lowlands teeming with life. • The jungle covers most of this region, which is the largest and least populated in the country. Wildlife includes tapirs, anacondas, boa constrictors, turtles, lizards, monkeys and giant rodents. • Dozens of bird species fill the skies and the trees, and freshwater dolphins are another favorite animal to spot.

  7. LET’S PONDER THIS • The current Ecuador promotional slogan is ‘Love Life in Ecuador. Click hereto see how this theme is reflected at our website. • You can use this site to share specific regions with your clients. There’s no booking engine to compete against! • Do you have clients who’ve been to South America, but never to Ecuador? If so, how is Ecuador different and/or similar? • Knowing what you’ve learned so far, write down the names of five current customers that seem to be a match for Ecuador’s attractions. • Do you have a relationship with any tour operators that sell Ecuador? Take a look at pages 22 and 23 of the Desk Reference Guide for some ideas.

  8. LET’S REVIEW • Let’s take a break from this first chapter for a brief quiz. This will ensure you’ve absorbed the key points, allowing you to be comfortable talking with clients about these features of Ecuador. • Click ‘continue’ arrow below to get started.

  9. LET’S CONTINUE • Now that you’re familiar with Ecuador’s main regions and Almanac of key features, it’s time to explain our most important visitor experiences. In your Desk Reference (page 9) you’ll find ‘Ten Things you didn’t Know About Ecuador This list is a showcase for how your clients can ‘Love Life’ across the four regions of Ecuador. Let’s take some time to review these iconic activities. • Here we’ll focus on FOUR of the Ten Things in order to help you master important trip planning skills. In later chapters in this course, we’ll connect you with sample itineraries and Ecuador suppliers that make these experiences a reality.

  10. I DISCOVERED THE GREATEST NATURAL DIVERSITY IN THE WORLD IN ECUADOR • Key Take-away: • In your next newsletter, let you nature-loving clients know how Ecuador is a world-leader in bio-diversity. Send them the Desk Reference Guide as an email attachment. • In fact, some 10 percent of the world’s plant species and 10.7 percent of all vertebrate animals are found in Ecuador. It’s a natural wonderland that clients won’t find anywhere else. And, like nowhere else, due to the short distances and good travel connections between the top sites, your clients can spend more time enjoying this biodiversity!

  11. I DISCOVERED THE CULTURES OF 13 INDIGENOUS GROUPS IN ECUADOR • Key Take-away: • Ecuador’s cultural diversity will really appeal to academic groups, museum/ gallery aficionados, certain African American clients interested in heritage tours and many others. • The peoples of the Amazon region are world-famous for their traditional medicines and respect for the rainforest that they call home. On the Pacific Coast province of Esmeraldas, visitors can learn about the Afro-Ecuadorian people whose history dates to the 16th century. Dance and music — as well as unique instruments they use, including the marimba, bombo and guasa — provide still more insight into the divergent cultures that come together in Ecuador.

  12. LET’S RECAP • Let’s recap some of the ‘Ecuador Love Life’ basic facts: • Ecuador (think ‘equator’) straddles the middle of the planet, facing the Pacific and is neighbors with Colombia and Peru; • The weather is ‘spring-like’ year round and varies mostly by elevation; • You’ll be offering your clients activities in FOUR regions: Galapagos Islands, the Pacific Coast, Andes, and Amazon; • Since Ecuador is only the size of Wyoming State, distances between attractions are short; • The currency is the U.S. dollar, Wi-Fi is commonly found, there’s no visa requirement for Americans and Canadians, and English is widely spoken; • Ecuador fully embraces ‘Conscious Tourism’ and the idea that travel generates personal growth and makes us all better citizens.

  13. GEO REVIEW • Let’s look again at the map of Ecuador and spend a moment locating: • Our four regions • Main cities (Guayaquil, Quito, Cuenca)

  14. GEO REVIEW • Now take a moment to identify the main geographic feature (volcanoes, highlands, lagoons, rivers, bays, islands) and appreciate how Ecuador’s landscape is one of its main assets. (your Desk Reference has larger version of this map)

  15. CHAPTER FINAL EXAM • Ready to test your knowledge? Click the ‘continue’ arrow below to get started. • Have any technical questions or concerns?We are here to help at 1-877-727-0035 or