A delegation of travel industry officials from Chile did some traveling themselves this week, to Oslo, in the hopes of breaking into what they see as a promising new market. They told local travel agents gathered at the Embassy of Chile Tuesday afternoon that they were more than ready to welcome Norwegians “to the other end of the world.”
Norway and Chile are both long, narrow countries characterized by coastlines and mountains that offer stunning scenery. But Chile can also offer such things as desert landscapes and wine country that its tourism industry is convinced will appeal to travel-happy Norwegians.
“We really are very proud to see how Norwegians are traveling a lot more to Chile,” said Chile’s ambassador to Norway, Juan-Anibal Barria. “I know it is a very long trip.”
Norwegians have been setting records lately for the money they spend on travel, and given their lengthy paid holidays and strong national economy, the Chilean delegation was eager to promote everything from a spa in the Atacama Desert of the north, to four-day cruises and hiking in Patagonia in the south, plus exotic Easter Island, a five-hour flight to the west and forever linked to the late Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl. Norway is “an important market,” said Cecilie Nome of AirFrance/KLM, which now offers 29 daily flights from cities all over Norway and boasts the “best” connections to Santiago via Paris.
After the meeting in Oslo on Tuesday, the delegation that Barria said was part of a private- and public-sector cooperation was traveling on to Sweden, to tap another potential market of Scandinavian tourists.