Tourism Numbers From ChileTourism
Tourism Minister Murray McCully says he is confident that tourism numbers from Chile will "move more into line with the scale of our investment and trade relationships" following a visit to Santiago by the South American tourism mission he is heading.
Last year fewer than 1,000 tourists visited New Zealand from Chile.
"That is surprising for a country which enjoys a billion dollar investment relationship with us and a significant trade relationship, " said the Minister.
Mr McCully described the tourism promotional launch in Chile and the series of industry and media briefings as "very positive".
"While we should not expect to see Chile match the tourism growth we expect from Brazil and Argentina, it is clear that we can expect to see some reasonable growth."
The Minister met with senior Lan Chile executives, to be briefed on that airline's plans for improved services to New Zealand from December 1998.
He described Lan Chile's plans to increase the Auckland-Santiago service to four times a week as "a significant boost".
Accompanied by Hillary Commission chief executive Peter Dale, Mr McCully met with senior Chilean sports officials to promote the use of New Zealand sports facilities for pre-Games preparations prior to the Sydney Olympics.