Argentina and Chile are jointly promoting their countries in a round of events in Australia with the purpose of drawing more Aussie tourists. The promotion coincides with the recent announcement of Australia’s flag carrier Qantas direct flights to Santiago de Chile.
“The sales mission in Australia: Argentina and Chile in Australia” has congregated in three cities Brisbane, Sidney and Melbourne, government representatives, tourism operators and travel agencies from the three countries as well as from the three airlines, Lan, Quantas and Aerolineas Argentinas.
“This is the first time Chile and Argentina are working together to promote South America as a continent and helping the Australian travel and tourism industry with new opportunities”, said Chilean ambassador in Canberra Pedro Pablo Diaz.
The ambassador said that there are currently a few direct flights to Chile but the recent announcement from Qantas will ‘undoubtedly increase the number of tourists and business people travelling to Chile and Argentina”.
Chile is investing heavily in the industry expecting to draw four million tourists by 2014, which includes promotion in markets it considers strategic and distant such as Australia.
In 2010 Chile received 2.7 million tourists of which 35.000 from Australia and the country is intent in promoting several different scenarios.
They are ‘adventure and sport; culture and heritage; tastes and wine; urban life; health and well being and natural inspiration”, pointed out Carolina Valenzuela from Tourism Chile.
Mariano Vila from Tourism Argentina underlined the significance of the joint promotion of tourism in the region given that it is a long distance experience for Australians.
“We have to work on combined packages, otherwise it does not justify investing to travel to an only country” said Vila who revealed that in 2010, a total of 40.000 Aussies visited Argentina and another 20.000 in the first half of 2011.
“Argentina is not about a season, you can go anytime of the year and you will really enjoy it” insisted the Argentine representative.
Vila revealed that tourism has become an important contributor to Argentina’s GDP representing 7%.
“Last year we had a record 5.3 million tourists from all over the world”, said Vila to emphasize the significance of the industry.
However regarding Qantas decision to opt for direct flights to Santiago instead of Buenos Aires, Argentine consul in Sydney Ricardo Bocalandro said it was a “commercial decision” but ultimately what matters is having “the same number of seats in the line”.
Besides “Aerolineas is planning to start direct flights to Sydney” added Boclandro.