Chilean government delivers positive balance of the 2022 summer season
The hotel occupancy figure for January reached 71.2%, nearly 5 points higher than the same month in 2020. In addition, air traffic also showed a significant recovery
A positive balance of the 2022 summer season was made this morning by the Minister of Economy, Lucas Palacios, together with the Undersecretary of Tourism, José Luis Uriarte, and the director of Sernatur, Andrea Wolleter. According to the authorities, despite the restrictions still in force imposed by the presence of covid-19, various indicators show a significant rebound in the sector, getting closer and closer to the results obtained prior to the pandemic.
In this regard, Minister Palacios pointed out that “this summer season brings us much more encouraging numbers than the previous years marked by the pandemic. Receptive tourism in Chile, that is, in the case of foreigners who were able to arrive in our country, more than 300 thousand people are projected. It is still less than in normal seasons, but, without a doubt, it is much better than last year. We are confident that, by passing the omicron variant and controlling infections more, we can gradually reduce access restrictions and that entire tourism will be reactivated accordingly because it is a fundamental source of employment for the country.”
For his part, the Undersecretary of Tourism highlighted the occupancy rate for tourist accommodation establishments, which reached 71.2% and exceeded by 4.7 points that registered on the same date in 2020 (66.5%), as well as as well as the increase in jobs, which during the moving quarter NOV 2021 – Jan 2022, totaled 530,763 employees. “During the last few years, much of the time we have talked about the restrictions that we as citizens had, from the perspective of the tourist; however, we tirelessly repeat that behind the possibility of tourism there are thousands of families who live from it and that is why it was very important to reactivate this activity. Today we have an increase of almost 17% compared to last year in jobs, which is very good news.
Uriarte added that another indicator of the recovery of the sector has to do with an increase in the arrival of tourists to tourist accommodation establishments (EAT), as well as the number of nights spent in them compared to last year. Thus, according to INE figures, arrivals at EAT in January 2022 rose 122.5% compared to January 2021, although it remains 28.3% below those registered in 2020, and overnight stays increased by twelve months 102.7%, totaling 1,879,680 nationwide.
Along these same lines, the largest flow of air passengers in January was highlighted, a month in which 1,821,782 passengers were transported (1,333,533 correspond to domestic passengers and 488,249 to international passengers), exceeding by 1,045,056 the passengers transferred in the same month of 2021.
For her part, the director of Sernatur, indicated that “closing the summer season, the news is positive for tourism. Hotel occupancy factors on average exceed 70% occupancy throughout the country. This shows that, despite the health situation that is completely different from the one we had last season, domestic tourism has been clearly consolidating since the second half of 2021, with people looking for different places within Chile to visit. We are going to continue encouraging Chileans to travel around their country with our internal tourism campaign Hay Chile Para Todos”.
Regarding destinations, Wolleter stated that “the destination that had the highest occupancy during this summer was Lake Llanquihue, with a 96% occupancy factor. We had more than 36 destinations out of 42 that we measured during February that were above 80% occupancy rates. Within these destinations, Chiloé and Pichilemu stand out, which also had above this average”.
As for the projection for the current season (December 2021 to March 2022), the arrival of foreign tourists could range between 277 thousand and 324 thousand, as long as the current health scenario is maintained. This, because prior to the appearance of the omicron variant and the travel restrictions imposed by various countries, an arrival of between 400,000 and 500,000 foreigners was projected.