With great expectations of tourist recovery, the 2023-2024 Cruise Season began this morning in the Magallanes region. The activity had the participation of the National Director of Sernatur, Cristóbal Benítez Villafranca and the Regional Presidential Delegate of Magallanes, José Ruiz Pivcevic, who together with the general manager of the Austral Port Company, Rodrigo Pommiez Aravena, and the President of the Hotel Association and Tourist Services of Torres del Paine, HYST, Rodrigo Bustamante Ortega, presented the captain of the Viking Octantis cruise ship with a commemorative plaque.
The Regional Presidential Delegate, José Ruiz, expressed his enthusiasm for starting this new cruise season, highlighting the importance of tourism in the regional economy. “We know that not only tourism benefits from the active arrival of tourists, but also that different sectors mobilize productive services in Magallanes such as gastronomy, crafts and associated services, which are almost entirely small and medium-sized businesses. Therefore, it is very good news, where the expectation of arrival and number of passengers is much higher than the previous season,” he stressed.
Regarding expectations for this season, the national director of Sernatur, Cristóbal Benítez highlighted the increase in calls and the significant growth in passenger arrivals compared to the previous season. “This season we expect to receive approximately 402 landfalls nationwide, of which 183, almost half, are here in Magallanes. This demonstrates the impact that cruise tourism has on the region. We hope it will be a very positive season, we know that we are going to have more calls than last year and in visits we are going to have approximately 95,000 passengers this season in the Magallanes region, which is significantly higher than the previous season, which was 75,000. These figures help us recover the tourist activity that has been so hard hit during the pandemic, therefore we hope to continue moving at a much faster pace in the recovery of inbound tourism.”
Likewise, the general manager of the Empresa Portuaria Austral, Rodrigo Pommiez, emphasized that this growth in the number of passengers is a crucial milestone, since it has a significant impact on the regional economy. “This is a weak growth in terms of calls, but an important growth in terms of passengers, which is the most important thing, since this radiates to the regional economy. There are almost 30,000 additional passengers compared to the previous season, a growth of almost 30%, therefore it is very important. What we want to express here is that this interest from the authorities who visit us at the national level demonstrates the importance of this region and the efforts that we all have to make.”
A ceremony this year organized jointly with the Association of Hotels and Tourist Services of Torres del Paine, HYST, which reinforces the joint work that public and private actors are carrying out to enhance the destination.
Rodrigo Bustamante, president of the Torres del Paine trade association, highlighted the optimism in the Magallanes region about the figures for 2023-2024. “We are very expectant of a season that should be important for the region, hopefully reaching pre-pandemic levels, which is what we all hope for. All the companies in Torres del Paine have worked hard on promotion, so we hope that this works out and that the reservations we have come to fruition."
This 2023-2024 Cruise Season in Magallanes is expected to bring with it a resurgence of inbound tourism, benefiting both the local economy and visitors who wish to explore this beautiful region in the far south of Chile.