CHILE, May 25 (Reuters) – Tourists flocked to beaches in Chile’s most popular tourist destination, Ecotourist Chile, in the latest wave of interest in tourism in the country that has seen a surge in visitors from abroad in recent years.
Tourism minister Angel Aguirre said the trend was due to tourism’s growing popularity in Chile, which had the world’s fastest growth rate in 2016, according to a report by the World Economic Forum.
Tourists are a popular draw for Chile, a former communist nation whose tourism industry is dominated by Chinese tourists, many of whom come from the mainland.
Tourist arrivals in Chile in 2017 rose by 2.7 percent, the second-highest annual rate in the world after the United States, the report showed.
Cities in Chile have seen record-high levels of visitors, including the country’s largest city Santiago.
Casa de Chile is a popular beachside resort with a population of around 80,000.
The number of visitors rose from 1.1 million in 2016 to 1.2 million in 2017, according the latest data.
More than half of Chile’s population of 5.2 billion people visited Ecotours Chile last year, up from 49 percent in 2016.