Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/11/2014 -- The Chile tourism report examines the strong long-term potential currently being offered by the local tourism industry, bolstered by continuing strong levels of government support. That said, BMI cautions that growth in tourist arrivals may moderate slightly from 2014 onwards as tourists to Latin America might choose to travel to Brazil instead given that it is hosting the football World Cup in 2014 and then the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
The report also analyses the growth and risk management strategies being employed by some of the leading players in the Chilean accommodation sector as they seek to maximise the tremendous growth opportunities being offered by the local market at the present time.
Chile's tourism industry suffered two blows in early 2014, with several earthquakes taking place in March and April and a major fire breaking out in the large port town of Valparaiso in April. An 8.2 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of northern Chile on April 1, leading to some landslides, power cuts and property damage. Six people were killed and several injured. In general, the government's evacuation plans worked well, and the major scale of the damage seen in the earthquake of 2010 was not repeated. However, some limited damage was caused to tourist facilities. The greater damage may be done to tourist sentiment, with some visitors potentially now choosing not to visit Chile because of perceived earthquake risk.
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The damage to Chile's reputation was compounded by a major fire that broke out in Chile's port city of Valparaiso in April. Eleven people were killed and hundreds of homes damaged, with President Michelle Bachelet stating that a long-term reconstruction plan would immediately be drawn up. All tourist visits to the city are likely to have been cancelled owing to the disaster. Although it is as yet unclear how much damage was done to Valparaiso's port facilities, cruise ships very likely were diverted. As Valparaiso is one of the major stop-off points on most Chilean cruises, this is likely to weigh on cruise arrivals throughout 2014.
Over the last quarter, BMI has revised the following forecasts and views:
- BMI has raised its forecast for arrivals from North America and Europe in 2014, and is now forecasting arrivals growth of 7.5% and 9.7% respectively.
- BMI is forecasting inbound arrivals to grow by 7.0% in 2014 and outbound arrivals to grow by 10.2% Outbound arrivals will be boosted by Chileans visiting Brazil for the World Cup, as well as Chile's addition to the US Visa Waiver Program in March 2014.
- BMI is forecasting a decline in hotels and restaurants industry value of 5.7% in 2014, to USD4.1bn. However, we note that this is largely the result of exchange rate losses, with industry value forecast to grow by 3.7% annually in local currency terms.
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