CHILE, Feb 10 (Reuters) – Chile’s tourism industry said on Friday that arrivals fell by 7.9 percent in January from a year earlier, highlighting the challenges facing the tourism sector in a country that is one of the world’s most expensive destinations.
The number of people visiting Chile rose by 1.6 million to 2.3 million, compared with the same month a year ago, according to the Chilean Chamber of Tourism and Industry.
It also said that tourism revenue for the month fell by 8.6 percent compared to the same period a year before.
Tourism is a major driver of the economy and the tourism industry accounts for nearly two-thirds of Chile’s gross domestic product.
In a statement, the Chamber said the country needs to increase tourism spending to keep up with its economic development.
“Our economy needs to keep growing and it needs to be done through investment in infrastructure, skills development and the creation of new jobs,” the statement said.
Chile has been struggling to attract tourists, with a record number of cancellations and the worst winter weather in decades last month.