SANTIAGO OF CHILE - The Undersecretary of Tourism and the National Tourism Board reported that while Chile is going through a social crisis that has marked the country's agenda in recent weeks, the country's tourism continues to operate throughout the territory. The most popular destinations visited by international tourists, such as San Pedro de Atacama, Elqui Valley, the islands of Rapa Nui and Juan Fernandez, the Chilean Patagonia and Torres del Paine National Park, are operating with normality.
Even in cities such as Santiago, Concepcion, Valparaiso, Coquimbo and Antofagasta, which have experienced citizen demonstrations and their normality has been altered, mostly in their downtown areas, still offer many alternatives for sightseeing in nearby destinations.
In the national capital, they emphasized the importance of carrying out an informed tourism since social mobilizations are still maintained, which at certain times tend to impact the usual routine of the city, especially in the historic center.
The Merino Benitez International Airport is operational and normally scheduled for flights by airlines; airport transfers and taxis are delivering their services as usual; The bus terminals function normally as well as accommodations, with only some exceptions in the urban center; businesses work partially with special schedules in the downtown area, however, in other areas, the shopping centers remain open; public transportation is resuming its usual operations and so are most metro stations.
In other regions, airports and bus terminals are operational, business and transportation are also regaining the normality of their operations. A large part of the country's tourist attractions are working and providing options in addition to the usual experiences that international tourists commonly demand.
In addition to providing an overview of how our national tourism is operating, authorities have announced that the Government of Chile determined that the country will no longer host the APEC or COP25, events that were scheduled for November and December of this year. Today the country's priority is to promote a new social agenda and to initiate a broad and profound process of dialogue and to listen to the civil society throughout the country.
Both the Undersecretary of Tourism and the National Tourism Board reiterated that they will continue to work in order to fulfill Chile's full tourism potential and to promote it worldwide, because not only does Chile have many great differentiating attributes in each of the country's regions, but also, tourism is considered a fundamental pillar in the economic and social development of the country, because it is a sector that generates employment and it offers opportunities to many entrepreneurs, therefore contributing to the sustainable and inclusive growth of the country.
They also reiterated the importance of carrying out well-informed and responsible tourism. Their recommendation is to gather background information about destinations that will be visited and to be permanently informed, in addition to adopting a behavior of self-care and being respectful of the rules stipulated by local authorities.
Tourists are called upon to approach the Tourist Information Offices for further information and inquiries, and to always use official taxi services at the airports and tourist service providers certified by Sernatur.