Friday, March 12, 2010

Latina Uses Social Network To Help Support Chile's Tourism

The earthquake shattered Concepcion, Chile, but fear may be keeping tourists away from this South American country. Wise Latina Linked member, Patricia Dufflocq Williams is hoping to bring support to Chile's tourism via Facebook.

Patricia was born in Chile, but now lives in San Francisco with her American husband, Peter.  She says Chile's economy depends a great deal on the money made off tourism.

Her family in Chile tells her that tourist attractions are hurting for business, and they blame it on the earthquake and the media only reporting about the damaged areas.  Patricia thought she needed to do something, so she decided to put out a letter on Facebook to anyone who would listen. Here's part of the letter.

Dear Friends:

Sorry for the mass email but we need URGENT help in Chile. Tourists are not traveling to Chile after the earthquake. All they know and watch in the news is that the country is devastated. Yes, we sure had a rough time but the areas affected are away from the main tourist attractions and the country is back to normal again. Please HELP CHILE and spread the word within your families and friends on Facebook. We need to let the world know that is safe to travel to Chile. Please ask everyone to post the text  on their walls so they help Chile. We need you!

Some of Patricia's children, her parents and other relatives live in Chile.  Many of her family members make a living by operating their own flying fishing lodges in southern Chile. Patricia says "I have many friends and connections in tourism in Chile and I know how bad they are hurting. The hotel bookings drop 63% in my home town Puerto Varas, which is in the Lake District, one of the main tourist destinations in Chile that was not affected by the quake."

There are also reports that tourism is down at popular attractions like San Pedro De Atacama in Northern Chile and Torres del Paine National Park in the southern part of the country. These tourist attractions are miles away from the area hit by the earthquake.

The earthquake has not only impacted tourism, but now it's having a ripple effect. Patricia adds "The hotels employ maids, waiters and bell boys. If they don't have guests they will have to fire them. The people that work on transfers won't have anyone to give their services to. The stores in those towns, car rentals, guides, cafes and restaurants; everyone relies on tourism."

Though news reporters are still concentrating much of their coverage on the earthquake damage and funds being raised for the survivors; Patricia  believes those reports also create panic.

She says "In all the touristic destinations the airports are operating normally. The roads are fine and everyone is waiting for tourists. I think it is time for a positive message to give to the world and help Chile to heal."

Other important links:

Chile's Official Tourism Website

1 comment:

  1. Artículo de vuestro interés:

    Un saludo.


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