QUITO, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- Ecuador attracted around 749,410 foreign tourists during the first half of 2014, 14.3 percent more than the same period last year, latest immigration data showed.
January and June were the two months that have received the most visitors, with 152,576 and 128,452 tourists respectively.
Colombians continue to lead the ranking of foreigners visiting Ecuador with 192,738 tourists, followed by Americans (131,948) and Peruvians (82,408). There were also tourists from Argentina, Venezuela, Chile, Spain, Canada, Germany and Mexico this year.
Data from the Central Bank of Ecuador indicates that foreign exchange earnings from tourism amounted to 1,251 million U.S. dollars in 2013, an increase of 21 percent over that of 2012.
More than half of the total of 1.36 million foreign tourists visiting Ecuador in 2013 came from America and the Caribbean.
According to the World Tourism Organization, international tourist arrivals worldwide grew 100 percent in 2013, reaching 1, 087 million people. The Ecuadorian government has set a goal of increasing the number of foreign visitors by 20 percent between 2014 and 2015.
Ecuador has started an aggressive campaign abroad to promote the country as a tourist destination. In 2012, the Andean country became one of the top destinations at the International Fair of Tourism in Argentina.
Exotic landscape, volcano, waterfalls, rivers and lakes are among its natural attractions. One of the biggest draw is the Galapagos. The UNESCO World Heritage site is home to unique fauna and flora in the world.