Cruise vessels allowed to operate along smaller Chilean ports

SANTIAGO – Chilean cruise operators and travel agencies have praised a bill approved by Congress, the Coastal traffic law, which allows cruise vessels with a 400 passenger capacity or more, and even smaller if there are no Chilean similar vessels, to sail along the country’s ports.

Once effective, according to Chilean operators and government officials, the initiative will increase competition in the cruise industry, strengthen domestic tourism, creating new routes and tours, with the expected impact for the coastal economy of the smaller port-cities.

Expectations are high since the current 2018/19 cruise season is considered very encouraging for Chile with the industry, foreign and domestic, catering for some 450,000 people, compared to the 370,000 during the previous 2017/18 season.

Furthermore the Austral Ports Enterprise in Punta Arenas, Magallanes Region has announced that this 2018/19 cruise season is expecting to receive some 90.000 visitors, representing an almost 30% increase over the previous year.–MercoPress