By Russell Maddicks
Following the success of its ambitious All You Need Is Ecuador campaign. which featured the well-known Beatles' song All You Need Is Love, Ecuador's Tourism Ministry has now launched an even more ambitious campaign with the emotive slogan: Feel Again!
The $10 million campaign begins with a major art project featuring 18 contemporary artists, photographers and travel bloggers from four countries who flew into Quito on 21 September for a 7-day expedition to experience one of Ecuador's four worlds: the Andes, Amazon, .Pacific Coast, and the Galapagos Islands.
Tourism is an important source of non-oil revenue for Ecuador, coming in third place after bananas and shrimp and generating some $1.5 billion in 2014.
The idea is for the invited artists to explore the sensory experiences of travelling in Ecuador - the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and feelings that make travelling such an awakening, empowering and life-changing experience - and then produce work that reflects those experiences.
The artists will also engage on social media with their followers in a way that hopefully inspires others to visit Ecuador and sample its food, culture, history as well as its diverse landscapes and wildlife.
Team USA includes Andrew Norton, Brendan Van Son, Marc Reisbig, and Scott Pommier, and they will be exploring the Galapagos Islands.
Team Canada includes Benoit Paille, Jeff Bartlett, Jesse Louttit, and Rick Leong, and they'll be heading to the Pacific Coast,
Team UK includes Conor MacNeill, Esther Teichmann, Jason and Keiko Hindley, and Sara Thomas, and they'll be immersing themselves in Ecuador's mega-diverse Amazon region.
Team Germany includes Johannes Conrad and Michelle Phillips of Studio Yukiko, Rocket & Wink, and Steve Hanisch, and they will be experiencing the high Andes.
All the teams will be documenting their journeys in real time with stories, photos, videos, sounds, and artworks published on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other social media platforms.
The best way to follow the artists' progress is through Ecuador Travel's accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, where you can use the hashtag #FeelAgainInEcuador to get the latest updates.
Follow me on Twitter: @EcuaTravelGuide
Follow me on Instagram: @LatAmTravelist
Purchase a copy of my book Culture Smart! Ecuador