Chilean tourism operators are disappointed with the measures announced by the government regarding a greater opening of borders for foreign tourists. Among the rules which become effective next October first is the possibility that foreign visitors with the appropriate vaccine certificates can access Chile with a negative PCR, besides other requirements.
However, the rule which triggered the most reactions from tourism operators refers to foreign visitors having to comply with a five-day quarantine on arriving in Chile. The president of the Tourism Federation Ricardo Margulis argued that opening doors to foreign visitors and then have them comply with a five-day quarantine, even with a valid vaccination certificate is like keeping doors closed
This restriction does not make sense and is yet another blow to the tourism industry impeding it stands up again and gets moving. It seems the Executive prefers to let the industry down instead of saving on a political cost. There are not sufficient sanitary reasons to be that strict, Margulis added.
A PCR test before reaching Chile and an antigen test in the Santiago airport, are reasonable measures, but with the quarantine compliance it will the second season running lost with all its economic and social consequences, added the operator.
Tomas Sahli, president of the Tourism committee from the Chilean Chamber of Commerce pointed out that even when the tourism industry remains the most laggard in recovering, officials don't seem enthusiastic about helping her out, since the measures announced are clearly insufficient.
This first step should help us to continue advancing as long as we maintain the sanitary measures recommended by the Public Health Ministry to keep Chileans out of potential risks, said Deputy Tourism Secretary Jose Luis Uriarte, even when the tourism lobbies insisted the measures were not incentives for visitors to come to Chile, particularly if they must spend five days of their holiday-time in quarantine.
However Uriarte insisted this opening of frontiers was the first step in a process that will be advancing with time, it will allow foreign visitors to come to Chile as long as they comply with the sanitary measures, and it can also be considered a first full step towards the recovery and re-launching of receptive tourism, which represents some 40% of the overall income of the industry