Does Chile need Country Brand??

I´ve been working and travelling around Chile for nearly a year now and after visiting some of the touristic areas and getting to know first hand business experiences, institutions and organizations I have seen the great touristic potential that this country offers. It has a diversity of ecosystems from the most arid desert of the planet, beaches, humid forests, lakes regions, and rivers with spectacular waterfalls or glaciers in the Patagonia, among many others.

There is a big push from the government institutions thanks to the tourism strategy 2012-2020 and recently have developed a national Sustainability Distinction (Certification), economical measures and aid programs for implementing sustainable management systems. In the last report from the ATDI – Adventure Tourism Development Index, Chile was ranked first in 2011 as developing country with more potential in this type of tourism.


All these and many other aspects that are happening in the country makes me believe that Chile is positioning as a touristic destination at international level. In my opinion there is only a small push needed to make tourism one of the driving forces of the economy.

After carefully studying the tourism strategy, I see that is document with great potential if taken into practice but it seems that there is no common COUNTRY STRATEGY or BRAND, every territory seems to be competing with each other and not combining effort. There is no clear message from the authorities of the possibilities as a country; it’s missing the definition or how con it can be identified or differ from other destinations.

The strategy must arise from a participation process and a consultation that implies all the stakeholders, from the local population, institutions, private companies or NGOs, among others. Is necessary that the strategy comes from the Chilean society and that they feel identified so that it can work and have the expected results!

I leave you with this last comment and please feel free to leave your thoughts.

I´ve heard many different people argue that there is such a great diversity along the immense territory that it’s never been possible to create a general compelling message for the country. I believe that the Country brand should be that diversity.

Come and discover the great diversity at the end of the world.

This is just an example with which I want to begin a debate to helps us identify Chile Country strategy.

What do you think should be Chile´s Country Brand??

Link to this post in Spanish.


Discover, Engage & Deliver Awakening Destinations

This session began with Christina Heyniger who is the President of Xola Consulting, Inc., which she founded in 2004. She works with governments, entrepreneurs and community tourism interests to develop and market eco/nature/adventure tourism products and services. They have supported clients in Latin America, Asia, Europe and the United States. She introduced the different participants and was the manager of the session. This session wanted to put forward the difficulties and success of some new destinations and how they are trying to establish themselves as adventure travel, responsible or eco-tourism destinations.



More information about the speakers: (

First speaker was Liza Masias – Director for Business Development Sales & Marketing, InKaterra. Liza acts as liaison between InKaterra and its clients and partners. She has broad experience in hotel management, conservation and fund raising, and a good understanding of corporate social responsibility and sustainable development issues.

Liza previously worked for the Four Seasons Hotel Company, Conservation International, the Brazilian Foundation for Sustainable Development, Special Events Coordinator for The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, DC, and Director for Special Events for the National Museum of the American Indian at the Smithsonian Institution, DC, and most recently Assistant Analyst for InSpire Invest in the area of Social and Environmental Corporate Responsibility, Oslo, Norway. Liza holds a Bachelor of Science in Hotel Administration from Cornell University.

She focused on the business development of InKaterra in Peru. This is a case study of good practices. She has achieved this great success in such an isolated area thanks to the long term conservation projects that they run parallel to their accommodation and touristic operations. They have investigations running for 20 years which aids in Latin American countries were instability can lead to great changes when political power changes. The other key issue is that company has sustainability within the company and transmitted to all the workers. She says how thanks to the investigation programs that they run they have been able to survive some of the difficulties that the country has had to live by. This is a great example of ecological research for conservation funded by tourism activity.

The second speaker is Mads Pihl, a tourism consultant in Greenland’s Destination Arctic Circle Region, an emerging adventure destination on Greenland’s West Coast.

He was once a social anthropologist but nowadays those skills are employed in a bottom-up approach to destination management in a vast Arctic region where tourism actors are few and far apart.

He spends most of his time either on the road connecting with local companies, encouraging networking and collaboration or he develops an online presence for the regional brand through various social media and websites.

Greenland is approximately the size of Mexico and the region where he works is the size of Greece.

He begins his presentation with the idea that Costa Rica was the first Marketing Emerging communities (1998) focusing on adventure travel but since there has been other 15 countries in the world with the same focus.

Some key issues that were brought up in the session include:

  • We are not alone, bring NGO,s, Boards, Private business to work together as a destination.
  • Connect routes, use nearby destinations that are more known and promote collaboration.
  • Cooperatives: Ho to make decisions, how to empower, how to train guides in order to offer a unique and wonderful experience.
  • Partnership with local, what to do if the visitor are not coming. Service is vital and the local people must be trained and be aware of what we want to achieve and promote local goods, produce and services.
  • Attract private capital (Eco-lodge) Facilitate (Equity, state, ownership)
  • Responsible investment. (make money but also develop the region and conserve the resources)
  • What do you sell, how you market, what’s different, strategic positioning. How do we differentiate from other emerging markets!
  • Market; analyze what market, what is interesting, link to other existing markets, potential, future trends, new tourist needs, among others.
  • Accessibility: easy to get to, ways to improve, very important for tour operators.
  • Identify the Problem – Opportunity. I.e. what is causing the threat to conservation; is there a need to change (Social Employment); design tourism offer to develop and support local communities.
  • Turn the challenge into an Asset.
  • Developing destinations need to offer the link between education and training of local population is vital.
  • Use luxury like stay in your rucksack in a unique environment experiencing a place where very few people have visited. I.e. Greenland; sleeping on a dog pulled sledge.
  • What is first, accommodation or services? Infrastructure or experience

Stanley Crossick Blog:

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Private company & Administration

Management in private involves good relations with both local and international partners. You have to be present in order to adapt to changes (be out there business and associations). BE part of the local community but also market internationally, awards always help to create an image for your company or destination.

Tour operators and DMO´s (Destination Management Operators) have to work together to create products and services that follow the destination strategy. Private normally moves quicker that the public institutions so we have to take this into account. Is very important to never be isolated, connect with everyone in your area, with turoperators, reservations, local business, competition, administrational the key stakeholders.

In order to create a new destination it is key to create a close cooperation between local administration and business and to work on a joint strategy where the efforts of both are mutually reinforcing.

What are the most important aspects to create a new destination?