Travel agents, tour operators, cruise lines and other international travel specialists rely on government tourism boards to provide the information and help they need to grow their international tourism businesses. In this, the second list in our series about government sponsored tourism boards, we link you to websites of the tourism ministries of South America.
South America is hot! We're talking tourism, not weather. In 2011, international tourist arrivals to South American countries increased by 9.4%, the greatest regional rate increase in the world. And, it followed a 10.0% ITA increase in 2010. Experts expect this strong growth to continue at least through 2020.
Use this list (and Part 2 which covers the rest of the alphabet) to learn about the tourism business opportunities in South America.
According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization's June 2012 report Tourism Highlights, in 2011, Argentina ranked first among South American countries for international tourist arrivals. With its geographical and cultural diversity, and a capital city, Buenos Aires, known as the Paris of South America, Argentina offers a wide variety of experiences ranging from posh to primordial.
The country is eager to promote Argentina's diverse interests to travelers. Categories that agents might be interested in learning more about include active tourism, cultural tours, sports-centered itineraries, special interest tourism, and World Heritage tours to Argentina's unique historic and cultural destinations recognized by UNESCO. Its Ministry of Tourism also features an extensive program for travel agents, tour operators and other industry professionals.
Bolivia provides travel agents, tour operators, hoteliers and other tourism professionals a chance to grow with an emerging destination location. As the indigenous people of Bolivia (66% of the population) have gained political power, they have demanded greater economic opportunity. In response, the government has undertaken programs to expand tourism, and other job creating industries.
The Vice Ministry of Tourism website contains a number of resources to help travel professionals learn more about the country's regions and attractions.
Brazil Tourism Board (Embratur)
Embratur, the Brazilian Tourism Board, an agency of the Ministry of Tourism, helps foreign tourism professionals to promote and market travel to Brazil. The Brazilian Tourism Board subtitle, above, links to the Visit Brazil homepage.
At the top of the Visit Brazil homepage are links captioned "Press" and "Tourism Professionals." These lead to an ancillary website, called Brazil Network, designed for the trade. The Brazil Network pages contain links to marketing information and promotional tools, as well as training and specialist opportunities.
For additional information about Brazilian vacations, visit GoBrazil.About.com
Sernatur, short for Servicio Nacional de Turismo Chile, is an agency of Chile's Ministry of Economy, Development and Tourism. Sernatur promotes and markets Chilean destinations to international travelers and tourism professionals.
Sernatur also sponsors The Official Travel Guide to Chile, an attractive, well-designed promotional website. The site map provides a comprehensive outline of Chilean destinations and travel opportunities.
For more information, take a look at this Chile Travel Planner.
The Colombian government is dedicating more resources to its diverse tourism regions and attractions. To help Colombia reach its economic potential, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism has created an agency called Proexport. Its mission is to promote tourism, investment and exports. The MCIT's tourism promotion campaign seeks to overcome the stigma of security risks in the country with a bit of humor. Its slogan is "Colombia -- the only risk is wanting to stay."
Proexport maintains a separate B2B website for business people, including tourism professionals.
Ecuador Ministry of Tourism
Ecuador, nestled between Colombia and Peru on South America's Northwestern Pacific Coast, is an ecological treasure. One of only 17 countries designated "megadiverse" by Conservation International, Ecuador has the greatest biodiversity per square kilometer in the world. Its four environmentally distinct regions -- the Galapagos Archipelago, the coastal plain, the Andean highlands, and the Amazon rain forest -- offer visitors four different ecological experiences.
The Falkland Islands, are a self-governing overseas territory of the UK. Located about 290 miles east of Patagonia, the rocky archipelago consists of two main islands, East and West Falkland, and 776 smaller ones. The main industries are fishing, raising sheep and tourism.
The islands are also known by their Spanish name, Islas Malvinas; and Argentina disputes Britain's claim to sovereignty. Most of the approximately 3,300 islanders are of British descent, and they have voted for British territorial status.
Cruise ships bring about 36,000 visitors to the Falklands each year. Others arrive by plane. Attractions include diverse wildlife, particularly penguins and other birds, and the unique island life style, which brings a bit of old England to the South Atlantic.