Lata boss Danny Callaghan has hailed Chile’s addition to England’s travel corridor list as the first step towards a recovery of tourism to Latin America.
Chile will be added to the list at 4am on Saturday (14 November) transport secretary Grant Shapps confirmed in a tweet on Thursday afternoon (12 November).
Callaghan, Lata chief executive, said it was also vital the Foreign Office now softened its travel advice with regards to coronavirus, and allowed people to go back to making their own informed decisions on travel.
"Of course, we still have the lockdown in place [in Chile], and Chile’s borders are still closed to non-residents (with some special permits available for those with family members in Chile)," said Callaghan.
"However, at Lata, we understand Chile’s borders will be reopening to non-residents from 23 November, which means travel can resume.
"It is worth noting many other destinations in Latin America also have similar (and indeed lower) infection rates, so we hope this is the first step for the region and many other destinations will soon be added to the list."
Callaghan said it was his belief blanket bans on travel was an effective way of "putting on the brakes" at the start of the Covid crisis to allow governments, destinations and tourism businesses to take stock and establish how travel could resume safely.
However, he said the continuation of blanket advice was now "unwarranted".
"The tourism industry has worked tirelessly to understand and mitigate the challenges posed by the pandemic and I think now is the time for the Foreign Office to revert to providing information on Covid so consumers can make informed decisions about where they should, and should not, travel," he said.
"That said, the addition of Chile on the travel corridor list gives us and our Lata members confidence in the recovery of the Latin American tourism sector and demonstrates that countries in Latin America are managing the pandemic effectively.
"We advise those looking to plan a trip to Chile to review the FCDO advice and consult their tour operator partner to double-check entry requirements."