April 20, 2012
Keeping up with a notorious trend for Chile, and for much of South America, the reports at the end of the first quarter of 2012 show a significant increase in tourism arrivals to the Chilean territory. National statistics, recently announced by Chile’s Undersecretary of Tourism, Jacqueline Plass, registered 1.2 million foreign arrivals in the first three months of this year, with a 14% increase over the same period in 2011. Of that total figure, a stunning half a million Argentine tourists literarily “invaded” Chile, much to the content of the receptive country’s authorities and travel services’ suppliers.
Evidently the figures coincide with Chile’s best tourist season, the southern Hemisphere’s summer and the easy connectivity which facilitates neighboring Argentina nationals to be lured to explore the varied locations along the Chilean territory. However, the growing trend is undisputed and represents a clearly booming epoch for Chile and South America’s inbound tourism. The quoted figures also showed that, immediately behind the Argentine visitors were nationals of Brazil and Colombia.
In presenting the stats, the Chilean Undersecretary of Tourism emphasized that the growth was not only seasonal nor confined to the neighboring countries. Mrs. Plass pointed out that European tourists grew a 6% in this period, with 157.000 visitors, of which the larger number corresponded to Germany, followed by France and Spain. Likewise, the official remarked that North America, for a second consecutive year, saw a 4% growth, with a total of 73.000 visitors this year, with a particularly sharp increase in the flow of Mexican tourists. In closing her presentation of the quarterly figures, the government authority said that the very positive and encouraging balance to date, forecasts a great outlook for Chile as a tourism destination and credited the sustained growth to the effectiveness of the country’s promotion strategies in different markets, which she labeled as “rewarding”.
Meanwhile and to enhance the exposure of Chile as a fantastic travel destination, the travel video, “A Story for Tomorrow”, was selected as one of the nominees of the 2012 Festival + Awards, sponsored by the increasingly popular online video service “Vimeo”. The 5-minute film, produced by Dana Saint, recreates, in five vibrant minutes, a travel odyssey of the author through the Atacama desert (the world’s driest), on the extreme north of Chile, through the bucolic wine country in central Chile and onto the stunning Patagonian region in the far south.
The film, tagged as a “soul-soaring footage”, was chosen as a nominee in a new category which “showcases the natural world or personal experience, using a distinct creative style by using techniques such as time-lapses and travel footage”. “A Story for Tomorrow” competes now against 11 other videos from all around the world. The winners will be the result of an open on-line voting which has already started and will finalize on April 28. Then a panel of judges will appraise and finally select the winners of the different categories in competition. The Awards ceremony will take place in New York City on June 7, 2012.
With this additional recognition and the worldwide exposure it will have, Chile will be able to masterfully showcase its spectacular and enormously varied nature, geography and people, through the lens of a camera and the resulting 5-minute video that recollects a breath-taking journey through the immensity of the South American nation.