Chile’s most recent effort to promote sustainable and cultural tourism took the form of an elegant new book, with 140 photographs and 16 stories in both English and Spanish, highlighting the particular histories and points of interest in each of the country’s 16 regions.
The 220-page book is titled Chile: Travesías Culturales (“Chile: Cultural Journeys”), and was published by the Consejo de Cultura with support from Luciano Cruz-Coke, the Chilean minister of culture.
Book launch at the historic Sewell mining town
The book launch took place 90 miles south of Santiago, at the historic mining town of Sewell – a town originally built in 1905 to house miners. It was later abandoned, and in 1998 it was named a national monument.
At the launch, the Consejo de Cultura described its new nation-wide strategy to promote cultural tourism and expand the options for travelers in Chile who are interested in a more in-depth experience with the country’s living history.
“Cultural tourism, on top of being sustainable by definition, allows for regional development, respecting traditional local identities,” Cruz-Coke told local media La Tercera.
In an interview with Jade Hobman of The Santiago Times, Cruz-Coke said that promoting cultural tourism would also help sustain Chile’s heritage because “it respects Chilean identities and local traditions and can act as a guarantee to protect both our material and immaterial heritage.”
The book’s contributors include historians, writers, artists and authors with ties to the world of regional culture. Each contributor’s particular styles and anecdotes showed how the touristic richness of Chile lies well beyond its landscapes.
“What is brought out is the local idiosyncratic character of a place as the greatest motivation to attract and motivate visitors. This encourages people to not just see nature as a beautiful object of contemplation and begin to understand that there is a identity uniqueness to places associated to the ways of life of communities who live there.”