Magallanes Region economy (in the extreme south of Chile) received an injection of 220 million dollars from the 630.000 tourists that arrived by air, sea or land to the area during 2013, according to the latest release form the regional Tourism Office (Sernatur).
The four main points of access to the region are Torres del Paine national park; Magellan Strait, Tierra del Fuego and Cape Horn.
More precisely 631.000 tourists arrived during 2013 with expectations of a 5% increase this year, (660.000) revealed Carla Ivelic, head of the regional Sernatur office, who anticipated that we are particularly interested in promoting cruise tourism
With the consolidated number of 103 cruise calls beginning September we expect to receive 63.000 visitors by sea during the coming season, which are estimated to spend somewhere close to 40 dollars per capita per day.
Think about it: 60.000 cruise passengers and if 30% land and each spend 40 dollars per day, it's very important for the Magallanes economy, said Ivelic.
Magallanes stats also show that the average tourist arriving in the region leaves 356 dollars, and that 160.000 foreign tourists arrived, of which 24.4% from Argentina, 19.5% from the US and 8% from Germany, among the leading influxes.
Taking into account as estimate annual growth of 7%, by 2018, the number of tourists should climb to 770.000. This comes down to 344.000, up 22% for Torres del Paine; 403.000 to the Magellan strait; Tierra del Fuego, 12.000 and Cape Horn, 9.000.
However these numbers also surfaced that the Magallanes region lacks sufficient infrastructure and services for such numbers, plus connectivity shortages. A deficit which the private sector admits and believes the Chilean government should help to address.
In Torres del Paine, there is a need for more paths and hanging bridges, and there are insufficient facilities for nautical activities and marinas for yachts. In the Magellan Strait there is a lack of infrastructure for holding conventions, congresses and other activities.
Tierra del Fuego is also missing maritime connectivity to Porvenir and lacks basic infrastructure for tourism. Finally Cape Horn is short of air connectivity and improved facilities for passengers arriving from Ushuaia to Puerto Navarino.