NEW TOURISM LAW ENACTED. Chile’s new Tourism Law was passed with a unanimous vote in the Chamber of Deputies. The new law defines tourism as a political priority for the country and creates a new institution dependent on a Committee of Ministers
and of the Under-secretary of Tourism. For Oscar Santelices, The National Director of Tourism, its approval confirms the importance of tourism: “The bill was approved unanimously in the Chamber, confirming support from all the political sectors.” Last January 8, the main unions representing the tourism industry demonstrated their total satisfaction for the legislative step, in a meeting at SERNATUR headquarters.
This is no minor step as once the Executive promulgates the new Law, tourism will become one of the country’s strategic activities, further raising its profile and prevalence, in addition to having its own Sub-Secretariat.
The initiative contemplates that the National Politics of Tourism will have to finally determine the aims, actions and priorities of the sector, and considering the importance that the regions and cities will also have in the development
and promotion of tourism activity. Another focus will be on the initiative of smaller communities, where through social programs they will allow social interest groups to gain and to create employment, helping to diminish the seasonality and contribute to the decentralization of the country.
RELAXING IN A PRIVILEGED ENVIRONMENT: PUYUHUAPI LODGE AND SPA
The hurries and the stress of the modern world wear us out and we all deserve a relaxation occasionally and why not do it in one of the best spas in the world in the very same end of the world. “Puyuhaupi’s Lodge and Spa”, located on the Austral highway and 130 miles from Coyhaique, in Aysén, northern Patagonia. This hotel mixes the beauty of Patagonia with relaxing treatments and warm hospitality, making it a recognized place worldwide.
The spa offers varied skills of corporal aesthetics, comforting massages and thalassotherapy treatments, one the most popular because of the use of sea water, algae, mud and other substances of the sea. It has three thermal indoor and outdoor swimming pools. Puyuhuapi helps you to rejuvenate, to recharge energy and to reach a pleasant sensation of well-being.
HUILO-HUILO BIOLOGICAL RESERVE ADDS FOURTH HOTEL
The Biological Reserve of Huilo Huilo is located 530 miles south of Santiago, in the Lakes and Volcanoes Region, in the middle of the Patagonian Andes. In the 247,000 hectares that form the biological reserve, there are three
hotels, cabins, trekking trails, horseback rides, a canopy, restaurants, a spa and dedicated areas for winter sports activities. In the hotel area, a fourth hotel is being built, which will open in March, 2011. The new hotel will have
the form of a mushroom, with 19 rooms and will be called A World Fungi, which will add up to the already existing hotels: The Magic Mountain, Baobab and Marina del Fuy. Huilo Huilo also possesses the Canopy Village formed
by 10 tree-houses. Another project that is in construction is a cable car, which should arrive in Chile this month. Its length will be 5,250 feet which will start near the Baobab and will end up in a forest that is covered in snow in winter.
ENJOY INVITES YOU TO LIVE A MOMENT OF MAGIC AND QUALITY
Peace and quiet, elegance, culture and superior 5-star hotel comforts can be found at Enjoy Hotels. A little more than an hour’s drive from Santiago, guests can relax at Enjoy Viña del Mar, an exclusive hotel with an incredible
spa, an equipped convention center, a modern casino with state-of-the-art machines and the best board games and select restaurants, such as the Barquera and Savinya, this last one awarded best restaurant of the region.
In the Big North, in the middle of Atacama’s desert, Enjoy Antofagasta is the first and only 5-star hotel of the region, with a total surface of 383,000 square feet. The hotel has a 9,700 square-foot spa, elegantly appointed rooms
and a privileged view of the sea. Guests can also enjoy the spectacular panorama of Huanchaca’s ruins, the former silver smelter, from the swimming pool. The area offers a variety of tourist routes including the desert, the
magic of San Pedro de Atacama and the former offices of the nitrate mines of the 19th century. www.enjoy.cl
IDB SUPPORTS CHILEAN TOURISM
Chile is on the right path in terms of developing its tourism industry. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved a loan of US$ 31.57 million to Chile to improve the competitiveness of its tourism industry, one of
the strategic sectors of the country’s economy in terms of foreign currency earnings and boosting local development. The funds will allow to alleviate seasonal variations of the sector and to encourage the geographic decentralization of the Big North, in the southern zone and Tierra del Fuego. In the North, the region’s lively culture of the Altiplano and the history of the nitrate mines will be promoted, such as the mining town of Humberstone, at present uninhabited and protected by UNESCO. In the southern area, focus will be placed on adventure tourism, while in Tierra del Fuego, the main promotional efforts will concentrate on exploration and navigation. The organization foresees that these actions will help to raise the tourists’ average stay in the country by 0,56 day to 3,66 days in 2021 and the daily expense per visitor by US$ 53 to US$ 190. This assistance is proof that there is full confidence in the future growth of
the tourism industry in Chile. The country has one of the highest rankings of international tourist destinations, a fact that has been confirmed by international media. Conde Nast Traveller UK placed Chile fifth in terms of top
tourist destinations, with particular emphasis on San Pedro de Atacama and the beauty of the Patagonia. The Spanish diary The World placed the National Park of Torres del Paine, located in southern Patagonia, 1,500 miles from
Santiago, number 22 of the “ 100 places to see before dying.”
PATAGONIAN EXPEDITION RACE
Cross indomitable landscapes of Chilean Patagonia guided only with a map by mountain bike, kayak, through sloping hills or by rope, and with set time limits and one specific goal: win the Patagonian Expedition Race. The competition
which started in 2004 was composed in its latest edition by 15 teams from 12 countries, and started in the Straits of Magellan and ended in Port Williams, passing through Tierra del Fuego, Darwin’s Mountain and the Beagle Channel. The teams have to be composed by four persons and, at least, one of them must be a woman. The test took place between February 9th and 17th and brought together participants from the USA, England, Canada, Switzerland, Japan, Germany, Russia, Finland, Spain, Brazil, Argentina and Chile. In total, nearly 60 sportsmen crossed the southern region across more than 300 route miles, leaving England as the winner of the Patagonian Expedition race for the second time.
KAYAKING AND RAFTING: AN UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCE
Among the most requested activities by tourists in the last few years, two closely related sports have proved to be most popular: rafting and kayaking. Chile offers world class waters to practice rafting. The best time of year for
the sport is the summer, from November to March, when the river levels rise as a product of the thaws. In the Lakes and Volcanoes region down to the Austral Highway travelers can find the best rivers to practice rafting and
kayaking. In the Metropolitan Region there are calmer options, though the adrenaline rises as soon as one goes down the river. Feel the water refresh your face while rowing to elude the river’s obstacles, in the middle of the
mountains and wild nature.
CHILE IS THE SECOND MOST COMPETITIVE SOUTH AMERICAN COUNTRY
The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness report published yearly by the World Economic Forum had loads of good news for Chile in 2009. Chile ranked first in South America for its business environment and infrastructure (including air and ground transport, tourism infrastructure, technology, human, cultural and natural resources) and 57th worldwide, out of 133 countries that were included in the report. Chile also achieved high marks for policy rules and regulations, ranking 19th in the world in terms of openness to foreign investment. The country ranked 38th in ease and transparency of establishing a business in a safe environment. The report also outlined the fact that Chile has several Cultural sites declared UNESCO World Heritage including: Torres del Paine National Park, Port City of Valparaiso, Easter Island National Park, Churches of Chiloé, Humberston Saltpeter Works, Santa Laura and the mining town of Sewell
TRAVESÍA SUR: THE ONA ROUTE
If you want to travel across the archipelagoes of the Chilean Patagonia discovering the cultures, the history and the most remote places you can achieve it with Travesía Sur. Travesía Sur, allows to cross every hidden corner of Chiloé
on board the ONA, a craft that sails to the pace of the calm waters. This boutique vessel was born under the concept of a “floating hotel “ and has a capacity for eight people including four double rooms with private bath,
all completely equipped and a personalized service. The ONA offers a tour of Chiloé’s archipelago with three types of voyages; Travesía Archipelago, Travesía Archipelago and People and Earth of Contrasts. It has programs of
3, 4 and 6 days that allow experiencing the island and its unique customs all year round. www.travesiasur.cl