Ecuador’s Minister of Tourism Freddy Ehlers.
By Bonnie James/Deputy News Editor
For the first time ever, a special programme on Qatar is to be telecast on Ecuador TV. The filming was done over a six-day period a fortnight ago, when Ecuador’s Minister of Tourism Freddy Ehlers was in town.
The visit was in response to an invitation from HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, who paid an official visit to Ecuador in February.
The episode on Qatar will be shown on ‘La Television’ (Television), a highly popular 30-minute prime time programme telecast nation-wide every Sunday since its inception in 1990.
La Television, which focuses mainly on environmental issues, was in fact launched by Minister Ehlers, who has to his credit a three-decade stint as a journalist, when he produced over a thousand documentaries.
Rated the most successful show in the journalism and opinion category in Ecuador between 1990 and 2006, La Television has produced more than 6,000 reports in over 75 countries and territories on five continents, and countless destinations within Ecuador.
Enrique Bayas, an award winning audio-visual expert from Ecuador, who accompanied Minister Ehlers to Qatar, shot from various locations full high definition video footage for the TV programme.
“The episode on Qatar, will introduce this Arabian Gulf country to the people of Ecuador,” Minister Ehlers had told Gulf Times during his visit.
La Television has been awarded twice with the prestigious ‘King of Spain’ in television journalism and the ‘Global 500’ award from the United Nations in recognition of its contribution to environmental protection. The TV programme is currently being run by Ehlers’ son and daughter.
The Ecuadorian Minister had announced in Qatar that both the countries are to work together on tourism and investment projects.
The delegation led by Ehlers presented 17 proposals to the Qatari authorities for developing various tourism projects in Ecuador, in areas including hospitality and aviation.
“In a few weeks Ecuador will receive a very important delegation from Qatar and the officials are to explore the potential of the proposals we have presented,” Minister Ehlers had said.
Discussions held with Qatar Civil Aviation Authority chairman Abdul Aziz Mohamed al-Noaimi focused on the possibility of launching an inter-line alliance that would facilitate a new travel option between Qatar and Ecuador.
The proposal is to enable a link between Qatar Airways and TAME, a national airline of Ecuador. Qatar Airways is now flying from Doha to Sao Paulo in Brazil, whereas TAME flies from multiple cities in Ecuador to Sao Paulo.
Among the proposals are those to build hotels, tourist resorts, spas and a joint venture for a scenic train route in Ecuador, famed for its geographical, biological and cultural diversity.
“Ecuador has lot of possibilities for Qatari investment,” Minister Ehlers had said while adding that the Andean country’s first embassy in the Middle East was opened in Qatar in early 2012.
Ecuador, one of the 17 megadiverse countries in the world, is described as a leader of sustainable tourism in Latin America.