Ecuador has a lot to offer as a tourist destination, and it wants its citizens to realize that. So local tourism officials resorted to a stunt. In order to appeal to Ecuadorians who prefer to travel outside their own country, tourism officials faked a trip to Costa Rica for a select group of Ecuadorian residents. The officials took them from Ecuador to another airport in Ecuador, greeting them with signs that said it was Costa Rica. There were even fake road signs, fake Costa Rican souveniers and fake passport control issuing fake passport stamps. Costa Rica was not amused. Costa Rican tourism minister Wilhelm von Breymann told The Tico Times, “We’re unhappy about their use of our country to trick their people into getting to know their own country.”
On Monday, Costa Rica’s government officially accepted Ecuador’s apology.