Jorge A. Rodríguez
Luis Antonio Quezada
The Ayangue community is a tourist destination in the municipality of Santa Elena in Ecuador known for its tranquil waters and its proximity to the El Pelado Marine Reserve a popular place for scuba diving, snorkelling, and leisure trips. The community was facing a series of issues in its pursuit to boost tourism in the area among which stood out: inadequate infrastructure, the informal nature of tourism businesses, controls on beach capacity being ignored, and the potential loss of biodiversity in the area. The Santa Elena municipality, through their state-owned company for tourism, developed a series of participatory plans to boost tourism in the municipality; to do this Ayangue Council formed a committee to create a project that would provide the necessary boost to tourism. The Committee had to analyse their current situation in order to identify the main issues, outline the best way to address them, and attract more tourists while conserving the natural attractions found in the area and improving the lives of community members. The Committee faced challenges over what kind tourism in Ayangue should focus on and how to achieve it.