TORONTO — If you were to ask Rudyard Ullrich Zulic of Turismo Chile what the number one reason people travel to Chile, he’d say it’s for the country’s best-known libation.
“Our best ambassador is our wine. And it’s not just tastings, many vineyards have also now developed activities related to wine,” he said during a recent networking event in Toronto hosted by Chile Travel and ProChile Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
But there’s much more than vintages to this South American nation, as highlighted during the event, which brought together hoteliers and DMCs from across Chile with Canadian travel advisors. In addition to delicious wines, Chile offers a wide array of adrenaline-fuelled activities. In fact, it won the title of Leading Adventure Tourism Destination for the eighth consecutive year at the World Travel Awards for South America in 2022.
“Chile is a narrow country with wide geographic contrast,” added Zulic, adding that the destination makes for a good pairing with neighbouring Argentina, Peru and Bolivia for Canadians. “We have everything, and we work together to make it a better experience for our guests.”
Zulic reminded attendees of Chile’s notable attractions like the Atacama Desert, 1,600 kilometres of desert plateau on the west side of the Andes Mountains. It’s the driest desert in the world, but this year Atacama is proving extra special with the rare appearance of endless wildflowers. “Every seven or 10 years, this phenomenon occurs – the desert is now in bloom,” said Zulic.
Another expanding tourism offering in Chile is astronomy, he added. With over 300 clear days per year and scarce light pollution, northern Chile is the ideal place to view and learn about the constellations and planets. It’s also worth noting that this region, with warmer temps than southern Chile, is also a hub for surfing.
“We are the windows to the universe. With some of the clearest skies, astro-tourism has been growing in popularity,” said Zulic.
With many Canadians craving active vacations, Zulic highlighted Chile’s wide range of activities including white water rafting, birdwatching, kayaking, mountain biking, surfing, skiing, snowboarding and horseback riding. The country’s most popular adventure region is Patagonia, which this past September hosted AdventureNEXT, a B2B marketplace and networking event by the Adventure Travel Trade Association.
The latest marketing tools by Chile Travel launched at AdventureNEXT include Rios de Chile (Rivers of Chile), an exclusive video production of seven episodes highlighting southern Chile’s 15 rivers, national parks, sanctuaries and activities, and featuring professional kayakers Chilean Pedro Astorga and Spaniard Aniol Serrasoles. Check out Chile Travel’s YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/c/chiletravel for episodes and other videos highlighting Chile’s landscapes, music and people, all of which provide more inspiration for solo, family and group travel clients.
Zulic’s suggestions for planning an itinerary include day trips to the Andes from Santiago, visiting the El Valle de Luna (Moon Valley) in the Atacama Desert, the Lake District for its nature reserves, and the numerous cruise expeditions that are available, which include memorable Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego, Chiloé Island and Antarctica. And with over 4,000 kilometres of Pacific coast, Chile truly entices as a landscape of contrasts, from Easter Island to the Villarrica volcano region. “We’re a country with endless experiences,” said Zulic.
For more information about travel to Chile go to https://www.chile.travel/.