Chile advances with the National Tourism Plan
For gradual activation, health protocols are being developed for hotels, restaurants and other tourist service establishments, which seek to protect the health of clients and workers
The Ministry of Economy, Development and Tourism, together with the Undersecretariat of Tourism and Sernatur, launched the National Tourism Plan that includes the delivery of financing, health protocols, and joint work with the sector, to reactivate tourism SMEs that have been struck by the health crisis the world is experiencing.
The initiative, explained the Minister of Economy, Lucas Palacios, "is based on three axes and is designed to focus support and aid in the medium term. It has a part that seeks to activate the sector gradually, between now and September, complying with health protocols; nearly $ 7 billion in grants to be delivered through Sercotec; and finally a promotion plan to incentivize travel within Chile in regions, for which about $ 3,000 million will be allocated between amounts from Sernatur and the National Fund for Regional Development (FNDR) ”.
"Tourism is a particularly sensitive sector because it depends a lot on the entire productive chain of a country working. We know that it is difficult to speak of an immediate reactivation, and even less if the contagions continue, but neither can we stand idly by because these SMEs need answers and we have to put ourselves on the future stage, with the pandemic in decline. That is what we are doing with this Plan, anticipating that scenario, "added the Secretary of State.
For gradual activation, health protocols are being developed for hotels, restaurants and other tourist service establishments, which seek to protect the health of clients and workers.
Minister Palacios specified that “the publication of the protocols does not translate into an immediate reopening order. On the contrary, the objective of its prompt dissemination responds to the time that operators in the sector will need to comply with the sanitary requirements presented in each protocol. And the reactivation will depend on how the pandemic evolves and also on the capacity of each company to be able to implement the different health requirements detailed in the protocol. We have to create the conditions to enable spaces, especially in the sectors that have been most affected by this pandemic, and be able to establish a true culture of self-care among all ”.
In this line, the Minister of Economy highlighted "the attitude we have seen in the inhabitants of regions such as Magallanes, Los Lagos, Aysén, who despite having high rates of contagion at the start of the pandemic, were able to carefully respect the quarantines and Thus, considerably lowering the spread of the virus in its territory. This good behavior has allowed them, little by little and with the appropriate sanitary measures, to enable spaces for local economies to reactivate themselves, avoiding layoffs of workers and bankruptcies of companies ”.
Mónica Zalaquett, Undersecretary of Tourism, highlighted that “the Chilean tourism industry is made up of more than 90% of small and medium-sized companies, which is why we are talking here about supporting practically the entire national industry. This plan includes, in addition to financial support, the development of health protocols and an important boost to national promotion, which will be fundamental elements for the reactivation of the sector, once the health authorities allow it. ”
In the case of Sercotec grants, these are in the development stage and will be available in the coming weeks.
The Sercotec national director, Bruno Trisotti, stressed that, “with this we are fulfilling the commitment that we acquired with the minister Lucas Palacios in early March, when the pandemic reached our country. We work as quickly as possible so that this subsidy is available, since this is the first time that Sercotec has developed a tool focused on tourist SMEs and because we are aware of how necessary this aid is for these entrepreneurs. ”
Finally, for the promotion of internal tourism Sernatur will allocate a budget of one billion pesos for the promotion of internal travel, in addition to resuming its usual social tourism programs.
As detailed by the national director of Sernatur, Andrea Wolleter, “it is one of the highest figures registered by Sernatur for these purposes and the execution will be focused on the reactivation plans that we are co-building in each of the country's regions. For the reactivation phase, it is essential that there is coordination in the sector and that sanitary protocols are implemented to return confidence to tourists. ”
Additionally, through the National Fund for Regional Development, the regions will have a budget of more than $ 2 billion for dissemination and promotion. The regions of La Araucanía and Atacama lead the investment with $ 500 million and $ 400 million respectively.