Chile’s Torres del Paine illuminates Times Square

Seeking to boost its profile on the back of Torres del Paine being voted the 8th Wonder of the World, Chile heads to the planet’s advertising and entertainment mecca.

Some call it “The Center of the Universe” and while the astronomical accuracy of that statement may be questionable few can counter New York’s Times Square status as one of the most visited tourist attractions, iconic pedestrian thoroughfares and valuable pieces of advertising real estate in the world.

Starting this week and running for 10 days, a giant plasma screen in New York’s glittering central plaza will be running a video on the natural marvels of Chile to the approximately 1.5 million people who visit or commute through Times Square every single day.

Under the slogan “Why not Chile? Live the Experience” the 15 second video will display images of Andean peaks, glacial lakes and lunar-like deserts a total of 1,440 times, and aims to boost tourism from one of Chile tourism’s most high-priority markets. Prominently featured in the video are the iconic granite towers of Torres del Paine National Park, recently chosen as the 8th Wonder of the World.

Tourism Undersecretary Daniel Pardo said the campaign, which cost US$30,000,
was part of a new pitch to spread the word about Chile to the world.

“We are trying to innovate and make more impactful the way we promote Chilean tourism abroad,” he said. This campaign is one of the new ways we are looking at attracting tourists to our country. Of the 3.5 million tourists who visited Chile in 2012, 78 percent come for vacations and were drawn by our natural attractions and the variety of landscapes Chile offers. And one of the most visited and recognized of those abroad is Torres del Paine National Park.”

The United States sends the fifth highest number of visitors to Chile annually — in 2012, nearly 180,000 U.S. citizens came to the country, staying an average of 14.6 nights. The Tourism Ministry is expecting that to rise by 5 percent in 2013, and to continue growing that figure into the future.