Chile’s status as a top tourism destination is fast gaining steam, especially with travelers from Brazil – its neighbor just across the continent. With easy flight access to and from, Brazilians are increasingly being drawn in by the country’s top-notch Andes skiing and pristine southern landscapes, and in record numbers. According to the country’s leading indicators, tourism from Brazil is already up 30% in the first half of the 2012.
There is no doubt that this is having a positive effect on Chile’s economy. According to a statement by Chile’s Secretary of Tourism Jacqueline Plass, “Over 180,000 Brazilians have arrived in Chile so far this year attracted by the snow and southern landscape, which means many thousands of jobs.”
This is a continuation of a very positive trend for the country that first started in 2011 when the number of travelers from Brazil showed a nearly 50% annual jump over 2010.
These major increases are almost certainly attributable to Chile ramping up its international marketing efforts as well as to the growth in disposable income of Brazilian wage earners. In March of this year, Sernatur – Chile’s national tourism organization – launched a major marketing campaign that specifically targeted the country. Other factors are Chile’s continual improvements to its tourism infrastructure and its reliable domestic-bus and air transportation system.
Nature has also been pleasantly cooperating . According to Ricardo Margulis, general manager of the ski resort Valle Nevado, “snow fall this year has been exceptionally better than in 2011, even when this season it has not been that abundant, the level and quality of the snow plus the low temperatures have enabled us to maintain the resort in excellent conditions for skiing fans.”
According to Margulis a majority of this seasons clients, over 70%, have come from Brazil to hit the resort’s slopes. If these numbers are any indication of things to come, it looks likes Chile is in for a big summer season.