Post-quake Chile calls tourists to come back
comment 1 Written by on March 5, 2010 – 7:00 am

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I’ve had a few emails this week from people working in tourism in Chile. They are desperate for it to be known that Chile is not a no-go area for tourism despite last week’s tragic earthquake.

Their situation is very different from that in Haiti, where an instant return to tourism-as-usual was disputed. Why? Because on the Carribean island people were still dying in the streets when the cruiseliners returned.

What the two have in common, however, is distorted news coverage. For an excellent analysis of how Haiti’s tale was told to international audiences, see Charlie Brooker’s simply brilliant Newswipe.

Liz Caskey of Culinary & Wine  Experiences is based in Santiago and is keen to set the record straight of how things currently stand in Chile:

If you have traveled to Chile, have a trip scheduled here, or know people that do, please encourage friends, family, and colleagues to still come. The images the media is “exporting” is simply not accurate since many people do not understand the country’s geography and where the quake is contained. They stick all of Chile in the disaster boat and this is completely false. The majority of the country is functioning perfectly normal, with the exception of the affected areas within 100 miles of the Concepción area and the coastline hit by the tsunami. Don’t let TV paranoia ruin what makes Chile so wonderful.

Tonight Chile is holding a huge Teletón to raise millions of dollars to provide temporary housing for every family who lost their home. You can donate via their site or via the Red Cross. Meanwhile, keep an eye on Liz’s blog, eatwineblog.com, for updates.

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