Even as Ecuador recovers from the violent protests that erupted over the past few days in reaction to the government’s proposed austerity package, large-scale rioting has been reported in Barcelona after leaders of the Catalonia separatist movement were arrested on October 14. Travellers planning a trip to these destinations are advised to exercise caution.
In the South American country, capital Quito was the epicentre of protests over economic reforms due to which fuel prices doubled overnight. Seven people have died as a result and hundreds have been wounded. Although the protests were called off after the government brokered a deal with the protestors, countries like the U.K. and U.S.A. have issued travel advisory to its citizens travelling to the country, keeping in mind the volatility in the region. Ecuador is the world’s fastest growing tourist destination (among countries with more than one million tourists annually) according to United Nations World Tourism Organization data, in part thanks to the province of Galapagos Islands, famed for its diverse wildlife.
Meanwhile, riots erupted in Barcelona, the heart of the Catalonian separatist movement, after leaders of the country’s Supreme Court sentenced nine separatist leaders to prison. Frequent clashes between the police and the protestors have left dozens injured and thirty people have been arrested. Given the political unrest, hundreds of flights to the city have also been cancelled, just as the U.A.E., U.K. and U.S.A. issued cautionary travel advisories about the same to their citizens. Barcelona is a major port in the Mediterranean region and also a hub for cruise ships. One of the most visited destinations in the world, the city sees a staggering influx of around thirty million tourists every year.