For the third consecutive year, Chile was crowned 2018 as the best adventure tourism destination in the world. Once again, our country was honored at the 2018 World Travel Awards, awards that are considered as the Oscars of the tourism industry.
It is important to recognize that, without detracting from the importance of this award, the challenges in terms of infrastructure and services are enormous. The increase in tourist income brings with it a greater demand for associated services such as accommodation and connectivity. According to Hernán Passalacqua of Fitzroy Tourism & Real Estate in a report made by AMCHAM Chile, “the country has the opportunity to be an outdoor destination throughout its national territory, from Antarctica to Arica, passing through the island, with offers at a good level But the most important thing is that there must always be connectivity for tourism. And today we are living a very virtuous moment in the number of airlines, in air connectivity and now comes the third priority that is how we connect city to city, because this is still centralized in Santiago: if you want to go from Punta Arenas to San Pedro de Atacama you have to go through Puerto Montt and Santiago many times or if today you want to travel from Calama to Concepcion you have to go through Santiago, ”says the executive.
On the other hand, according to Humberto Merino of Enfoque magazine, “as important as the numbers is the combination of adventure tourism with the culture of a country and its relationship with local communities. According to ATTA data, tourists at the time of assessing their trip cite relaxation, explore new places and learn about new cultures, as the most important part of their travel experience. If we interpret these reports correctly, identity and culture are not an added value, but the essence of any tourist offer ”.
It is essential that, in order to develop the industry in a sustainable manner, not only the economic impact of tourism, but also its ecological and cultural impact is considered. We must promote sustainable tourism at the country level, so that all the sectors involved are benefited without prejudice to the resources or the cultural wealth of the regions.