With less than two weeks to go before the summer ends, the Chilean National Tourism Service (Sernatur) forecast that the sector would grow by around 5.8% compared to 2009. The data shows that tourism grew in 80% of the country’s regions, an improvement that is translated into an increase in profits for hotel and gastronomical businesses.
Thus, in January over 2.4 million Chileans chose some part of the country as the place to enjoy their vacations, while this month the number is likely to increase to 2.7 million tourists.
The only negative point was that the number of foreign visitors fell slightly, by 1.8%, thanks in great part to the word economic crisis. However, according to Sernatur National Director Óscar Santelices, the situation is expected to improve over the course of the year. “We ought to see a recovery in receptive tourism over the remainder of the year and that could once again bring revenues up to US$ 2 billion, despite the fact that it has not yet been felt during these summer months,” he said.
It is worth noting that Chile offers a broad variety of tourist activities, ranging from the beautiful landscapes of the south, such as Patagoniaand Torres del Paine, beach resorts like Pucónand cities like Valdivia. For their part, the favorite destinations in the central regions continue to be Viña del Mar, Valparaíso, Coquimboand La Serena.
The northern part of the country, an area that stands out for its beautiful and paradisiacal beaches, also has other very attractive possibilities, such as excursions to the Humberstone and Santa Laura nitrate mines, where the number of visitors increased by more than 50%, with a daily average of 2,000 visitors.
In addition, activities like the Dakar Rally contributed even more toward incentivizing people to take their summer vacations in Iquiqueand Antogasta. The Atacama Region also benefited from the sports event.