The addition of Chile to the UK’s travel corridors list is a huge step for Latin America on its road to tourism recovery, and for long-haul travel in general.
This is a very welcome step, and we hope that with Chile added to the list, other Latin American destinations will follow.
It is worth noting many other countries in Latin America also have similar and, in some cases, lower rates of coronavirus infection, so we hope Chile will be the first of many to welcome the return of British visitors.
Chile is a destination that has built a world-renowned tourism offering, especially in the area of adventure tourism having been name Best Destination for Adventure Tourism in South America for the fifth consecutive year at the World Travel Awards Latin America 2019.
Chile further bolstered its adventure tourism credentials in September 2020 when the short video titled Welcome to Adventure Tourism won first place in the category Country Travel Destinations at the Terres Travel Festival.
It appears the easing of travel restrictions to Chile arrived just in time for British travellers to catch the total solar eclipse taking place over Pucon in the Araucanía Region, just south of Santiago.
Chile has more than 70% of the astronomical observatories in the world and clear skies for 300 days of the year, making it a leading destination for astrotourism.
Lata member Pura Aventura is offering the chance to witness the rare phenomenon with an independent 11-night self-drive trip departing 7 December.
The resumption of British Airways’ four-times-weekly direct flight route from Heathrow to Arturo Merino Benitez International airport as of 8 November also means travellers have a convenient and consistent service in and out of Chile.
Another Lata member, Latin Routes, has also unveiled two new Chile itineraries as part of its escorted group tours. The Chile Explorer, a 14-day itinerary, will feature the country’s highlights including Santiago, Atacama, Puerto Varas and Torres del Paine National Park, while The Pure Patagonia tour, a 17-day itinerary, will take travellers on an in-depth discovery of Patagonia visiting Puerto Vara, Puerto Natales and Torres del Paine.
Departures for both tours begin this month.
We also work with some incredible hotels in Chile that are constantly innovating and developing new tourism opportunities such as the Tierra hotel group which has properties in three of Chile’s top destinations: Atacama, Chiloe and Patagonia, with each hotel the namesake of its location.
Moreover, following this announcement from the government, the &Beyond Vira Vira will re-open on 11 December, once staff have completed training on their Covid-19 protocols.
Lata has been lobbying for Latin America through the UK parliament, and we are delighted to see this movement from the Foreign Office.
I also want to take this opportunity to thank our members for their hard work over the last year or so, despite the many challenges, in ensuring the pent-up demand for travel is met with quality tourism infrastructure and product as has been evidenced in the developments I previously mentioned.
We hope that this hard work is rewarded in the coming 2021 season.