The latest survey published by the Adventure Travel Development Index (ATDI) ranked Chile as the third best developing country for Adventure Tourism in the world. The index, compiled by the Adventure Travel Trade Association, the George Washington University and Vital Wave Consulting, ranks countries according to ten pillars of Adventure Tourism Competitiveness.
Chile scores highest out of all developing countries in the categories of Sustainable Development, Safety, Natural Resources and Image as an Adventure Tourism destination. Chile also comes in higher than many top-ranked developed countries for its Image. Industry experts classified Chile as having more Natural Resources than Canada, and more Adventure Resources than New Zealand.
Numbers of tourists in Chile are increasing, with a 1.9% increase between 2008 and 2009, as the country’s potential as an Adventure Tourism hot spot becomes more widely recognised. Chile’s safety record tops that of its Latin American neighbours, and sustainable development has been an invested priority in the country for many years.
Cascada Expediciones, the leading Adventure Tourism company in Chile, has been operating internationally-acclaimed sustainable tours throughout the country for twenty years. Yerko Ivelic, a founding director of Cascada, explains his dedication to ecologically sustainable Adventure Tourism from the outset “As a kayakist I had seen the beauty and fragility of nature. I’d witnessed the whirlpool of development destroying the river BioBío in the south of Chile, and I knew that Cascada had to combine Adventure Tourism with protection of the environment. An unwavering focus on sustainability was to be integral in our company ethos, to protect both environment and Adventure Tourism resources in the years to come”.
Cascada Expediciones (cascada.travel) offers trekking, mountaineering, horseback riding, rafting, cycling, kayaking and skiing in destinations throughout Chile, from the arid Atacama desert, to the isolated Easter Island and the wild mountains of Patagonia. In 2001 Cascada opened EcoCamp Patagonia in National Park Torres del Paine, the region’s first fully-sustainable accommodation, housing Patagonian adventurers in Geodesic sustainable domes during their EcoCamp trekking experience. Over 20,000 visitors in Chile have enjoyed Cascada-operated tours during the last twenty years.