Viña del Mar is one of the cities in Chile that receives most Argentine visitors every year. Its beautiful beaches, night life and closeness to Valparaíso are only some of the reasons that explain this major influx of visitors from the other side of the Andes Range.
According to a report issued by the Provincial Government of Los Andes, between 30 January 2009 and 3 January 2010 a total of 22,000 foreigners entered Chile through the Los Libertadores pass in Los Andes, of which 21,000 were Argentinian. Of these, a majority was bound for the Garden City, as Viña del Mar is also known.
Aware of the importance of tourism for the area, local representatives from the Chamber of Commerce and the Municipality of Viña del Mar launched a campaign to prove, and especially to the Argentinians, that the city continues to offer its basic services and main attractions after the mega-earthquake of 8.8 degrees on the Richter scale that devastated the area of Concepción and strongly affected the central and southern part of the Chilean territory.
With this in mind, the authorities extended an invitation to 41 journalists from 21 media in Argentina from the provinces of Mendoza and San Juan to see for themselves that the beach resort is in excellent condition. Among its many attractions, the city is renowned internationally for its famous International Song Festival.
Duly accompanied by Chilean representatives, the journalists have been able to visit hotels, beaches and attractions such as the Casino, with the aim of positioning the city as a preferred destination for the upcoming Easter holidays.
In one of the outings and flanked by both national and foreign media, the city mayoress Virginia Reginato highlighted that after the earthquake, Viña “is responding as it should, it is practically back to normal in terms of sales, our public utilities are working well, the roads are clear and there is no risk of falling debris.”
She also took advantage of the occasion to indicate that the invitation extended to the Argentine media was intended to express “that Viña del Mar is expecting you as usual, the city is ready to welcome you and we hope you will come and visit us, especially during the next long weekend.”
In turn, the director of the local Chamber of Tourism, Gabriel González, called upon the Argentinians and tourists in general to come to the area without fear. “We want you to see that in the gastronomy and hotel spheres absolutely nothing happened”, he said.