Tourism in Chile
Since the mid-1990s, tourism in Chile has become one of the main sources of income for the country, especially in its most extreme areas. In 2005, this sector grew by 13.6%, generating more than US$500 million, equivalent to 1.33% of the national GDP.
According to the World Tourism Organization (WTO), Chile was the eighth most popular destination for foreign tourists within the Americas in 2010, after the United States, Mexico, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. That year, 2,766,000 tourists entered the country, generating a revenue of US$1,636 million. The majority of these visitors came from American countries, mainly Argentina; however, the biggest growth in recent years has been in visitors from Europe, especially Germany.
In 2017, a record total of 6,449,993 international tourists visited Chile, a 13.3% increase from 2016. Argentina remained the most common country of origin, followed by Brazil. European tourists were third in terms of total numbers. The average tourist stayed for 10 nights. The Chilean government attributes the rise in tourism to "promotional campaigns, the development of new products and tourist destinations and a renewed diversification of experiences."
Tourism for the year 2018 is projected to continue the increase in visitors, with more than 7 million international tourists estimated to travel to Chile. Online guidebook Lonely Planet has listed Chile as its number 1 destination to visit in 2018. Lonely Planet emphasizes visiting the city of Valparaiso, the northern Atacama Desert, and Patagonia to the south.