Following three years of silence Chile is launching a final consumer media campaign to attract more tourists from Germany, United States, Brazil and the United Kingdom, revealed Oscar Santelices head of the Chilean Tourist Office, Sernatur.
Chile's tourist activity during the first half of this year has been very encouraging with a 12% increase, a significant figure compared to other international destinations such as United States which had a more modest growth or the Caribbean with a negative percentage according to the latest release from the World Tourism Organization. "Chile expands with the Latinamerican market which is good but it's important to check with the European and US markets where demand has dropped significantly. Tourism growth from Europe has dropped to less that 5% and became negative from the US", said Santelices. "We're forced to make aggressive campaigns in strategic markets and that is why we've opted for campaigns direct to the final consumer in the US, Brazil, Germany, UK and Argentina. We're going to invite tourism journalists and make a complete marketing campaign following several years of absence because of lack of financing" admitted Santelices during the Chilean National Tourism Congress. Guillermo Correa, president of Achet the company organizing the congress said that "growth prospects for the tourism industry are encouraging with rate growths in the range of 10.5% annually for the next ten years". This means that in 2006, tourism was more important than the wine industry for Chile. Tourism represented 1.5 billion US dollars and wine exports just below a billion US dollars, following on Central Bank data. The congress also had a special session dedicated to new challenges for the industry particularly internet but "statistics show that travel agencies continue as the consumers' preferred option because of the added value involved", said Correa.