Ecuador Is Spending $3.8 Million on a Super Bowl Ad to Make You Visit

·Associate Travel Editor

Ecuador wants more Americans to visit the Galapagos Islands and other parts of the country. (Photo: Thinkstock)

Quick, who’s the headlining performer during halftime at the Super Bowl this Sunday? If you think it’s Katy Perry, there’s one small South American country that would like you to reconsider, and it’s backed by the Beatles.

Amid the usual beer, potato chip, and GoDaddy ads, Ecuador will be making history by becoming the first foreign country to have a tourism commercial during the Super Bowl. The 30-second ad will be to the tune of “All You Need Is Love,” by the Beatles, as it’s part of a larger “All You Need Is Ecuador” campaign aimed at American tourists.

It might surprise some that a nation of just 15.7 million people would spend $3.8 million for the promotion. But this is no whim: Ecuador is spending billions on improving its travel infrastructure, and the United States is the country’s second-largest tourist market, next to Colombia.

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Ecuador’s ambassador to the U.S., Nathalie Cely, told Yahoo Travel that U.S. tourism has grown 4 percent a year for the last 10 years, and the country wants to double that over the next five. The country says that if it sees just 1 percent growth in U.S. visitors to Ecuador, it will cover the money spent on the ad.

The Basílica del Voto Nacional in Quito. (Photo: Thinkstock)

“We have been sort of shy the last 10 years about promoting our country, which I think is beautiful and unique,” Cely said. “We wanted to do something big in this market, and we thought that having the opportunity to have Ecuador at halftime in the Super Bowl will give us the kind of exposure to get more Americans interested.”

An estimated one of four American tourists visit Ecuador for the Galapagos Islands, but the country wants to shed a spotlight on a lot more than the famous archipelago. For one thing, Cely pointed out, Ecuador has become a premier option for American expatriates — in fact, it was named the top country for expats in a report evaluating 160 nations earlier this year.

The country also wants to promote such attractions as Quito’s urban life, Cuenca’s colonial charm, and the diverse rainforests.

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"Ecuador is a destination where you have a bit of everything so close, and that’s what makes us special,” Cely said.

While the country isn’t revealing the exact contents of the pricey ad, the ambassador said we can expect something in the vein of the other spots during this campaign. See above for one example.

“We’re going to try very hard to tell the world in 30 seconds what Ecuador is about and how unique a proposition it is for Americans to visit,” Cely said.

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