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Chile emphasizes revival of tourism and long overdue relaxation of sanitary measures

Chile’s focus on World Tourism Day yesterday was on the reactivation of tourism activities and the relaxation of health measures related to the new coronavirus pandemic.

Chilean President Gabriel Boric attended a ceremony Wednesday in the town of Pomaire, on the outskirts of Santiago, known for its clay crafts and typical gastronomy.

Chile highlights tourism reactivation and relaxation of sanitary measures on World Tourism Day. (Photo internet reproduction)
Chile highlights tourism reactivation and relaxation of sanitary measures on World Tourism Day. (Photo internet reproduction)

“As a government, we know that the entire world of tourism and handicrafts has been going through a tough time because of the pandemic. Together with the cultural sector, they are among the most affected sectors,” the president said in a speech.

He explained that the tourism industry is currently a priority for the executive branch “because it is about employment, culture, history, and dignity,” recalling the economic measures implemented to support this sector.

Boric also pointed to the relaxation of health restrictions as of this weekend, such as the elimination of the mask requirement, as well as capacity restrictions and the use of the discriminatory Covid pass that certifies the entire vaccination schedule against the virus.

The latter was required, among other things, to enter certain closed areas such as bars and restaurants and, as of this week, will no longer be required of residents of the Andean country or travelers.

Although Chile was and still is probably one of the most punitive countries in the world regarding covid restrictions and discrimination against the unvaccinated, the country’s excess death rate is one of the highest in the world.

Experts attribute this fact precisely to the covid vaccinations, which are causing many and severe adverse events, including death.

The head of state stressed that tourism is fundamental in the country because it “employs more women than the average in other industries, is sustainable and environmentally friendly, and recognizes local identity.”

Last July, the Chilean government announced a program to promote local tourism, with nearly US$30 million investments expected to benefit more than 6,500 small and medium-sized enterprises and microenterprises.

Chile is recognized worldwide as a destination for nature and adventure sports, contributing 3.3 percent of the gross domestic product in 2019.

According to the Undersecretariat of Tourism, arrivals to the country decreased by 75.1 percent in 2020 compared to the previous year, representing a decrease of more than 3.3 million tourists compared to 2019.

For sanitary reasons, the country’s borders remained closed to foreigners between March 18 and November 23, which meant an almost complete halt in Chilean tourism.



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