More than 7 million people will visit Chile in 2018. 3.3 million of those visits will occur during the summer holiday period (January – March 2018).
Chile’s Undersecretary of Tourism, Javiera Montes, delivered her 2017 annual account of foreign visitor arrivals to Chile. The Undersecretary’s office estimates that 2018 will be another-breaking year meaning an 8.5% rise in inbound tourists (approx. 6.4 million to 7 million).
The tourism industry in Chile performed well. 2017 concluded with record numbers. 6,449,883 foreign arrivals visited Chile. The latter tallies an increase of 14.3% in comparison to 2016.
The quantity of foreign visits correlates a 35.6% rise in foreign currency expenditure throughout 2017. The latter totals an amount of US$ 4,200 million. These funds were spent on accommodation, local transportation, food, shopping, travel agencies, international transportation and expenses incurred by one-day-visitors (i.e. cruise ship passengers).
Argentina is still Chile’s principal provider of tourists. 3.323.771 Argentines set foot on Chilean soil in 2017. That means a 14.6% rise compared to 2016. The fact that 51.5% of Chile’s tourists are Argentine is unsurprising considering that both countries share the longest land border between any two nations on planet.
Brazil is a priority market for Chile’s inbound tourism industry. Brazilians are important contributors to Chile’s international arrival and foreign currency expenditure figures. 544,000 Brazilians made the trip across the continent to Chile. In relation to 2016, there is a 24.1% increase of Brazilian visits to the longest country in the world.
June, July and August (Chilean winter season) the most popular months for Brazilians visits. With regards to 2016, 80,000 more Brazilians enjoyed Chile’s winter season in 2017 (increase signifies a 32.1% rise).
Chilean travel authorities reported that the arrival of European tourists increased by 6.3% in 2017, equivalent to 477,911 tourists.
Chile’s main promotional efforts in Europe are France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom (UK). All European priority countries kept an upward trend in their 2017 visitor arrivals to the land of contrasts and adventure.
Spain increased its visitor share to Chile by 3.5% (80,690) arrivals. Meanwhile the UK and Germany grew close to 6% with 54,714 and 78,262 visits to Chile respectively. France had the highest increase in visitors to Chile with 8.6% (83,758) arrivals. Spain increased its visitor share to Chile by 3.5% (80,690) arrivals. Italian inbound figures represented the lowest growth in any of the European priority markets totaling a 1.1% rise (46,131 Italian visits).
Crossing the Atlantic, tourists from the United States (US) increased by 1.5% (total of 211,718 US tourists) in relation to 2016. The US is a priority market for Chile.
Asia’s long anticipated rise in the market share of Chilean tourism inbound figures is starting to show. Amongst all the Asian tourists that travel to Chile, China sends more tourists than anyone else. Without the benefit of direct air connectivity, China sent 30,774 tourists to Chile in 2017 (annual increase of 33.8%).
Australia had a slow takeoff in 2017. Nevertheless, an upward trend reversed the latter in the second semester of the year due to LATAM’s launch of the new direct Melbourne-Santiago air route.
Total arrivals from Australia reached a total of 51,978 which means a 2% increase in comparison to 2015.
In the past decade, Chile’s arrivals have risen by more then 138%. In 2008, the country received 2.7 million annual visits. 2018 saw 6.45 million foreign visits chose Chile as their travel destination. In the later time period growth average is pegged at 10.5%. During 2015 and 2016 Chile recorded all time highs concerning inbound travel growth (22% and 26% respectively).
Chile’s international promotion budget duplicated in the last ten years. In 2008, the country spent USD 5 million and in 2015 and 2016 the figures were 13.1 and 14.6 USD million respectively. Without in-depth studies still available, it is still safe to conclude that Chile’s travel promotion investments are paying dividends when it comes to arrival figures.
Concerning Chile’s regional context, the numbers speak for themselves. Chile’s is currently the second most visited country in South America. After Brazil (6.5 mill), Chile leads the inbound tourism ranking followed by Argentina (5.5 mill), Peru (3.7 mill) and Colombia (3.3 mill).