Chile has recently been making plans and relatively large investments into tourist industry. It has been announced that the country’s intention is to bring the current figure of 2 million annual visitors to an annual 3 million, thus earning this South-American country an additional US$2 billion.
Regular tourists come from neighbouring countries, yet the biggest spenders come from Europe. Therefore the marketing company has been focused on countries with high personal incomes, such as Germany, Spain, UK and France. Indeed, although European tourists make up a mere 18% of visitors to Chile, they account for 40% of tourist revenue.
Numerous projects have been included in the multi-pointed plan to bring more tourists from overseas. Government funding has been boosted by a $40 million loan from a financial organisation. The biggest share of funding is aimed at investing into the country’s attractions. There are three projects of special importance: on Easter Island, Robinson Crusoe Island and Chiloe Island. On Easter Island there are plans to improve a road network, including a 46-kilometre long tourist circuit around the island. Over US$3.3 million is to be spent on improving and extending the runway of Robinson Crusoe Island. The 120-metre extension is aimed at welcoming bigger aircraft from Europe and the United States.
Improvements must also be made in the fields of tourist accomodation. There should be 500 certified tourist companies in Chile by 2010. Chile is starting to prepare for a greater influx of Europeans.