The latest tourism figures, released by the Tourism Authority of Chile, illustrate the lure of the country’s world-class food and wine, natural beauty, gorgeous cities, fascinating culture, and more flight options than ever before – with Aussies flocking to Chile in record numbers.
Chile’s tourism industry has reported its best year ever, with international arrivals showing a 26% increase from 2015.
Australian visitor numbers were up 10.8% in 2016, reaching 50,968 – the highest visitor total Chile has ever received from Australia.
For 2017, tourism is projected to see a 14% increase in international arrivals from 5.6 million to 6.4 million, with Australian visitor numbers expected to grow by 10 %.
According to Chimu Adventures and the Tourism Authority of Chile, increased air capacity, value for money and reduced misconceptions regarding distance and accessibility have been some of the main factors contributing to this growth. Also fuelling this new-found love is Chile’s recent win of South America’s Leading Adventure Tourism Destination at the 2016 World Travel Awards.
“With air capacity at record heights and the launch of direct flights from Melbourne to Santiago, Chile has become more accessible for Australians than ever before” said Greg Carter, co-founder at Chimu Adventures.
“Both Qantas and LATAM have increased their capacity into South America considerably over the last three years by switching to larger aircraft and we’ve been seeing the impact of the boost in seat numbers with some very competitive airfares.”
Juan Lopez, Asia Pacific market manager of the Tourism Authority of Chile added “Australian travellers seem to realise that Chile is closer than they always thought it would be, in fact, it’s as close as a trip to LA!”
“Chile is a colourful destination offering variety like no other place on earth with its diversified landscapes from the glaciers to the salt plains and the desert, the great weather all year long and not to mention the hospitality and warmth of the locals,” said Lopez.
“Chile is often referred to as ‘the Switzerland of South America’ for a good reason – infrastructure and safety are better than ever before and improving every day.”
TOP IMAGE: Santiago Chile