Santiago accounts of half of Chile's Travel & Tourism activity (48.9%), a total US$3.9bn, as Chile's capital city is an important hub for domestic and international flights, revealed a new report by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), Latin America City Travel & Tourism Impact.
Latin America City Travel & Tourism Impact is one of a series of reports by WTTC which looks at the contribution of Travel & Tourism to city economies and job creation. The study covers 65 cities, six of which are in Latin America.
Although the sector's importance to Santiago's economy has strengthened since 2006, its share of overall city GDP is relatively low compared to other cities in the study, at 3.2%, as the city relies heavily on other industries such as clothing production and copper mining.
Travel & Tourism GDP in Santiago has seen 7.5% growth over the past decade and the trend is set to continue with a further doubling of revenue over the next ten years and a growth rate of 7.1%, mirroring that in the country at large. The sector will benefit more from additional connectivity once the city opens a new international airport terminal in 2020. Over 110,000 jobs in the capital, 3.3% of all employment in Santiago, are directly attributed to Travel & Tourism.
The international market is now playing a bigger role in Santiago's tourism; its share of spending rose from 21% in 2006 to 24% in 2016. Nearly a third of the international demand comes from the United States. In contrast, US visitors comprise only 5% of all international spend throughout Chile, suggesting that many Americans do not venture beyond the capital.
Looking beyond the capital, the total contribution of Chile's Travel & Tourism to GDP was CLP16,852.1bn (US$24.9bn), 10.1% of GDP in 2016. The total contribution of Travel & Tourism to employment, including jobs indirectly supported by the industry was 9.8% of total employment (793,500 jobs). Over the next ten years, 160,500 new jobs are expected to be created through Travel & Tourism activity across the country.