QCOSTARICA – The Ministry of Tourism of Ecuador created fictitious immigration documents and disguised an airport to make 49 Ecuadorian travellers they were visiting the Costa Rican port city of Golfito.

Ecuadorian authorities went as far as Simulating Costa Rica road signs, vehicle license plates, the “Esencial” brand, and a Costa Rica souvenirs shop in its advertising campaign, ‘Viaje a Ciegas’ (Blind Journey), to convince the South American tourists they had flown to Costa Rica, in order to convince Ecuadorians they did not have to leave their country to enjoy an exotic vacation.

The Ministry of Tourism of Ecuador said on their official website that “it was at the end of the adventure when travelers learned that all the time they were in Ecuador and to experience all these great moments there was no need to go elsewhere.”

The Government of Costa Rica and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed their discomfort with the use of the image of Costa Rica in the advertisement.

Alejandro Solano, interim minister of Foreign Affairs, said he spoke with the Ecuadorian authorities on the situation and for this reason the video was removed from their Youtube channel.

However the La Nacion say it was able to download these video and uploaded into its own channel.

How far did they go? Here’s a few screen captures from the video.

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Fake immigration documents
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They disguised an airport not known to the tourists, to make it appear it was the Golfito airport.
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More airport makeover
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Tourists think they are arriving in Costa Rica, notice the “Esencial Costa Rica” brand
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Fake immigration stamp on passports
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Simulated Costa Rica airport souvenir shop
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Camouflage the bus

Ecuador has since issued an apology to Costa Rica.