What does Chile offer the international tourist that is different and unique?
Chile's natural wealth and diversity are its main asset and potential as a tourist destination, with the capacity to offer unique experiences, full of incredible and incomparable landscapes, where valleys, mountains, sea and desert are combined with fields, forests and impressive lakes.
Experiences of wine tourism, astro-tourism and first class local and international gastronomy, with the possibility of developing adventure tourism and providing a tourist offer for different interests and pockets.
Do you consider that Chile's offer is well known abroad?
At the regional level, in the South American subcontinent, Chile's offer is well known and valued. In fact, the Argentinians and Brazilians are our main inbound tourism markets. The United States market and some European countries are also better known due to the international promotion campaigns that Chile carries out with emphasis on those places.
But we have a huge challenge to make our tourism offer known to more long-distance countries, especially in Asia, Oceania and the Arab countries, to mention a few. There we must make greater efforts to publicise the advantages and attractions of visiting Chile.
In your opinion, where is Chilean tourism heading after a change of government like the one you have experienced in recent months?
In pandemic, we helped to make our demands as an industry visible and to get the authorities to consider our requests. In fact, we worked in different public-private bodies aimed at overcoming the crisis and we managed to obtain a response to a significant part of our requests in the time required.
Now the challenge is to maintain that visibility, to aim at strengthening this new stage, with the objective of ensuring that tourism is considered a state policy and not an appendix to the government programmes of each administration. We have to be able, as a country, to consider tourism as a permanent asset of Chile and address a medium and long-term plan for its development, with measures and actions that go beyond the governments in office and are sustained over time.
Let's talk about the training of Chilean tourism professionals, what is the situation, and what do you propose from the Association?
Now that we are coming out of pandemic mode, it is essential to resume this work, because training and the permanent updating of skills in the sector are an added value that we must strengthen in order to offer first class services and experiences that encourage visitors to continue to choose Chile as a tourist destination.
Prior to the pandemic and the outbreak, we developed an important work in deepening the process of digital transformation in the industry, through the Centre for Technological Extensionism (CET Tourism) of Fedetur, which provided training in digital tools for companies in the industry to improve their competitiveness and the dissemination of their offer, among other aspects.
We are also part of, and work side by side with, Transforma Turismo, a public-private body aimed at promoting and strengthening tourism in Chile.