European arrivals grew by 9% compared to the previous year with 449,667 visitors from Europe recorded in 2016 of which 51,611 were from the UK, up 11% from 2015.
From the other primary European markets, Chile received 77,987 visitors from Spain (up 6.3%), 77,129 from France (up 10.2%), 73,854 from Germany (up 3.9%) and 41,523 from Italy which showed the largest increase at 24%. From the rest of the world, Chile received 50,958 Australian visitors (up 11%) and 22,992 Chinese visitors (up 49%).
Luis Felipe Cespedes, Minister of Economy, Promotion and Tourism, said the increase was the result of a targeted tourism strategy implemented by the government with a focused international marketing plan which included a new international campaign as well as a considerable increase in connectivity during 2016.
Javier Monte, Secretary of State, Marcela Cabezas, National Director of Sernatur, and Hernan Merino, Director of Metropolitan Parks of Santiago, said tourism has become the strategic sector to grow Chile’s economy given the country’s projected development, its contrasting landscapes and the variety of experiences Chile offers as a tourism destination. Mr Monte commented, “We have significantly strengthened our budget for promoting tourism to Chile worldwide to highlight the beautiful places to visit in our country”.
Tourism is projected to see a 14% increase in international arrivals in 2017 from 5.6 million to 6.4 million, including an increase of 4% for the European market with a predicted 465,000 visitors expected to visit Chile this year from Europe.