Posted November 06, 2019 05:33:25 Chilean tourism industry is struggling to cope with the economic fallout from a new recession that has hit the country hard.
Key points:Chile’s economy is now projected to shrink by 8 per cent this year, according to a recent surveyChile has been one of the world’s top tourist destinations for the past two decades, but it has been hit hard by the downturnChileans are still trying to get back to their old routines after the recessionThe Tourism Ministry says it is “very likely” that many of the tourists returning to the country will have been unemployed for the previous three years, the AP news agency reported.
The tourism ministry said it had recorded a drop in tourism arrivals of 11.7 per cent in December to 3,746,000.
That was the lowest in five years, and the steepest decline in the past three years.
Chile, which has become one of Europe’s biggest tourist destinations, has also been hit by the economic downturn, with its economy contracting by 8.7 percent in the year to June 2019.
It has seen a decline in tourists and the number of foreign workers, the ministry said, with more than half of all new jobs being in the hospitality sector.
It said that the number and intensity of economic losses, including those from the recession, has hit tourism sectors particularly hard.
Tourism ministry director Jorge Lopez said in a statement that the recession “may have put the brakes on tourism in Chile, but in our view, it’s not just the recession that is the main driver of the downturn, but also the lack of opportunities and the lack the opportunity to invest in the tourism sector”.
Chile also faces the biggest exodus of foreign tourists since the 1960s.
Last year, around 15.7 million people fled the country, according the UN.
There are now estimates that more than 30 million Chileans are now abroad, according a recent report from the World Bank.
It is estimated that the average Chilean has left the country to seek work overseas, but the country has seen some dramatic growth in foreign emigration.
In the last five years alone, Chile has welcomed nearly 2 million foreign workers.