Chile launches int'l campaign to boost adventure tourism
SANTIAGO, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- Chile launched an international ad campaign on Wednesday to promote the country as an adventure travel destination.
The move followed a dip in foreign visitors driven away by more than two months of sporadic violent anti-government protests.
At a ceremony in Santiago's Metropolitan Park, officials and Chilean sports personalities gathered to tout the campaign, which aims to position Chile as "the best field" for adventure and rugged sports.
"Many tourists who visit Chile say they do sports in our country's outdoors, because through our sports figures they have gotten to know the marvels of northern, central and southern Chile," Sports Minister Cecilia Perez said.
Some 30 percent of foreign visitors to Chile say they take part in a sport during their stay, and up to 60 percent say they come for the nature and wildlife, according to Chile's Federation of Tourism Businesses (Fedetur).
The campaign, called "Welcome to Adventure Tourism," will target several countries in a bid to boost tourism.
Fedetur is braced for a 38.2-percent plunge in foreign visitor arrivals during its current peak season (summer in the Southern Hemisphere).
Tourism generates some 400,000 jobs throughout the country, according to Monica Zalaquett, deputy minister of tourism.
In November, Chile was recognized for the fifth time as South America's Best Adventure Tourism Destination by the World Travel Awards.