AdventureTravelNews

March 11th and Earlier Reports & Updates from ATTA Members in Chile

Written By:
Christopher Doyle

Update – March 11 - According to multiple international media outlets, Chile has been rocked by a series of major aftershocks, including the latest, a 7.2 magnitude jolt according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The ATTA will attempt to connect with its members in the country and will report updates from within the country as reports arrive.

March 9 – From Trekking Chile:

Hi Paula,
It would be a big help if you promote our foundation work and needs here in the center of the earthquake. Everything is in three languages at http://www.trekkingchile.com/DE/stiftung-projekte-long.php?id=190 It’s a lousy english I know.
We wanted to join the ITB but we have a lot to do at home.
Best regards and thanks writing us,
Franz Schubert, Trekking Chile

March 9 – From COCHA Destination Management Division:

Subject: Daily Report

Dear friends and partners,

Continuing with the updated report of the situation in Chile, as of today Tuesday 9, 2010 we would like to inform the following:

* Santiago Airport: we remind you that chek-in process, international police, Customs and luggage claim are being held in big tents specially installed. For departing flights, the authorities recommend to arrived to Santiago Airport 3 hours before an international flight and 2 hours for a domestic flight. The process, as expected, is slower than the usual, therefore, it is recommended to bring a bottle of water.

* Flights:

o LAN: On saturday 65% of flights were operating. LAN has informed that flights to all destinations have been resumed, however not with the same frequency yet. Due to the large amount to rescheduled flights, LAN is requiring to reconfirm at www.lan.com all flights departing or arriving in prior to March 21st. They hope to be able to return to operating 100% of their flights shortly.

o Please remember to confirm status and schedule of the flight directly with the airline.

Jorge Guazzini P

Managing Director

Destination Management Division COCHA

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March 9 – From Fantastico Sur Expeditions:

Thanks so very much for your recent note, of concern and friendship. For my fortune, none of my family and friends were affected by personal losses due to the last earthquake of February 27th. However, some my of colleagues of Robinson Crusoe Island have now to face the destruction of their properties resulting of a major tsunami there.
For our fortune everybody of our team is fine and we don’t have to regret any personal losses or property damages. The earthquake was imperceptible in the south of Chile (Lake District & Patagonia) as well in areas north of Santiago.
The effects of the past earthquake were indeed severe for the regions of Maule and Bio-Bio (300 to 500 miles south of Santiago) as well as for the village of Robinson Crusoe Island, which sadly was devastated by a tsunami. The recovery and rebuilding of many coastal villages and small town will take a couple of years. The main priority is now to quickly recover the services and productivity of the larger cities of the area, including Talca, Concepcion and Talcahuano.
For me the devastation at Robinson Crusoe Island is the most moving of all as it has affected all our friends and suppliers. The three lodges there were destroyed; there were personal losses for the park rangers as well as for the field scientists working there. We are looking for ways of supporting the islanders in the short-term.
On the positive side of this event is that the rest of the country is quickly reacting and helping out. This tragedy found Chile with good reserves and in good shape, so I think we will be able to raise the affected areas and its population.
Thanks again my friend.
Claudio
Claudio F. Vidal

Marketing Manager
Fantastico Sur Expeditions
Armando Sanhueza #579
Punta Arenas, Chile

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March 5 – From COCHA Destination Management Division

Dear Paula,
As there is lot of information available through the TV, internet and newspapers, we would like to clarify the following:
-  As you have noticed COCHA has kept you informed constantly about the situation in Chile based on reliable information and in a responsible way, only being based on official statements issued by the authorities and information given directly by the airlines, hotels and operators, so you can trust that we are being responsible and prudent. So we invite you to trust on our opinions and information given.
-  As expected, the international media and TV has focused only on the most severely damaged areas. They have done this without clear indications of the geography of a country that is 4.500 kilometres (2.800 mi) long. This has led to confusion and much unnecessary worry regarding the 6 million people in Santiago where very few people were injured. The major damages are 3 to 5 hours south of Santiago where, sadly, there were many deaths and there are people still missing.
-  After an earthquake of such magnitude occured with an epicenter near Concepción, 600 km south of Santiago, it is expected to have seismic activity with tremors for the following weeks, however with much lower intensity. For instance, the tremor felt in Santiago last night at around 11 PM Chilean time, is part of the same process and it is expected to decline. This was not a new earthquake!
-  We would like to make sure that our customers and passengers are correctly informed that Chile is already back to business, despite the areas affected by the earthquake. The main tourist destinations of San Pedro de Atacama in the north, Lake District and Patagonia in the south and Easter Island were unaffected by the earthquake. At the moment the only major incovenience in Santiago is the partial operation of the airport, which is expected to be fully operating by next week.
-  Chile is a safe and economically stable country with a beautiful but wild nature. You can transmit your guests they will truly enjoy their visit to Chile and they are not going to be exposed to any unnecesary risks.

Best personal regards,
Jorge Guazzini
Managing Director
Destination Management Division
COCHA

CONNIE AVALOS
Product Manager
Destination Management Division
Direct Line:   56 2 464 1363
Fax Number: 56 2 464 2270
[email protected]

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March 5 – From Remota

Dear Paula,
Thank you so much for your email and for your concern.
All of us at Remota are safe as well as our families and friends that is of course the most important. The central-south part of Chile was the most affected, but things are getting better: water and electricity are slowly coming back.  But, as you can imagine, the country in general and this region in particular will need time to fully recover.
Nothing to notice regarding Puerto Natales and Remota on itself as the earthquake’s epicenter was thousands miles away.
Best regards,
ADRIEN CHAMPAGNAT
Sales & Marketing Manager
<image001.jpg>
Ph. (Direct) +56 (2) 387-1270
Ph. +56 (2) 387-1500
USA Toll Free +1 (866) 431-0519
Worldwide Mobile +56 (9) 7888-6961
Skype adrienchampagnat
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March 5 – From Indomita – Big Foot

Hi Paula, thanks for your email and thinking of us. We are all fine here in Puerto Natales (Sergio included). Thankfully we were not affected by the earthquake. The worst hit areas were Concepcion and the central region like Santiago and all the Chilean people are coming together now to donate what they can to help the people that need it.

Since the earthquake has happened we have had a number of trip cancellations, mainly due to the fact that Santiago airport was closed and people were unable to get down to the South so tourism here has slowed down. One thing that would help is to get the message out that things are getting back to normal and we are operating as normal as we are nowhere near the earthquake zone.

Many thanks

Kerri

Kerri East
Patagonia – ChileBories 206, Casilla 75 – Puerto NatalesTel: (56-61) 414 525Fax: (56-61) 613599

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March 5 – From Antarctic Dream:
Subject: Antarctic Dream in  Up and Running…

“First of all  we  would like  to  thank you deeply   for  your  concern.
The major earthquake that we experienced on Saturday at 03.34 am has not impacted our families and friends.
Our employees or operations are located  far away from the epicenter of the quake in Ushuaia  we are  functioning  as  normally.
We  are  now  coming to the  end  of our Antarctic season on  march 10,  2010. Looking forward  to start our Arctic Season 2010.

We  are  a strong  country  with  a strong soul  we  will  rise from this  unfortunate situation.
Chile  is full of courage to step up!!

Best Regards,

Sabrina Plaza Garnica
Product & Marketing”

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March 4 – From Cascada Expediciones & EcoCamp Patagonia

Subject: Re: Checking in after the earthquake

Hola Paula,
Many thanks for your email, words and good vibes towards us!
Nobody on the office suffered a great loss, just minor and sort of “cosmetic” issues in some houses. Compared to some towns and cities in the near south we were really lucky!

Thanks for your offer! The best you can do for us right now is to spread the word that besides the earthquake and tsunami in some places in Chile the rest is working almost as usual, in some places not even an earthquake was sensed (like in Patagonia or Atacama)
If you can send the document we’re preparing will be great (I’m saying preparing because we still need to work on the design issue… but for the moment it will do the job I think)
I’m also writing  down the URL of the situation with regards our company: http://www.cascada.travel/index.php
All the Best

Daniel Sanhueza Lira.
Communications Manager
Cascada Expediciones & EcoCamp Patagonia

Details provided:

Earthquake in Chile: 75% of Chilean Territory Untouched

Wed March 3rd 2010.

“Chile is well-prepared

Catherine Bragg, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Emergency Relief

Tue March 2nd 2010.

“Chile’s natural jewels in Patagonia and Atacama without a scratch

Rodrigo Mata, Destination Manager at a local outfitter company.

Tue March 2nd 2010.

On Feb 27th 2010, 03:34 hrs local time, the central zone of Chile was hit by a strong 8.8-Richter-level earthquake originated near Cauquenes Province in the Chilean 7th Region. Major zones affected are located in the 6th, 7th, 8th regions and very few points of Valparaiso and the Metropolitan Area of Santiago. The 14th, 10th, 11th and 12th regions which comprise what is commonly known as the Chilean Patagonia, and the 15th, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th regions which comprise what is commonly known as Atacama and Norte Grande, all these embracing 75% of Chilean territory unaffected by the earthquake waves.

The entire operations and touristic services in the Chilean Patagonia, Torres del Paine NP, the Lake District, Atacama Desert, San Pedro de Atacama and the Altiplano are totally normal and safe.  Santiago City is working as usual and recovering the few places affected by the quake, including Santiago’s International Airport, which is the only point of real interruption at the moment. The airport by Tue March 2nd was working at 20% of its capacity while recovering works are going on. The Chilean National Aeronautical Authority expects that by March’s second week the airport recovers the most of its normal capacity.

We encourage all world travelers coming to Chile in the next weeks with travel plans including little or non-affected zones like Santiago, Valparaiso, Atacama, Altiplano, Patagonia and the Lake District to be confident about their plans. As soon as Santiago’s International Airport recovers its normal capacity there is no objective reason to delay visiting Chile’s marvelous places. Moreover, when keeping ongoing the travel plans for Chile, travelers will be contributing with the country overall economy which indirectly helps relieve suffering in those specific zones affected by the earthquake.

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March 4 – From – LAN – for more crisis updates, visit: http://www.lan.com/about_us/noticias/index_contingencia-en-us.html

Santiago, March 3rd, 2010, latest update done at 23:55 (EST)

Reviewed at 10:00 (EST), no changes have been made since last update.

LAN Airlines – Chile Earthquake Information for Passengers

As of Tuesday, March 2nd, LAN Airlines has been authorized to reinstate restricted operations of inbound and outbound domestic and international flights from Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport in Santiago, Chile, given the damage sustained by the airport. Despite the fact that we are operating out of temporary, makeshift facilities provided by LAN, we have been able to operate 45% of the inbound and outbound flights at Santiago, improving upon the 30% we had operated in previous days. Click here to read more.

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March 4 – From Tourism Chile:

TURISMO CHILE UPDATE NUMBER 2
ON CHILE’S TOURISM INFRASTRUCTURE FOLLOWING SATURDAY’S EARTHQUAKE

SANTIAGO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT REPORTS DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL
FLIGHT OPERATIONS GRADUALLY RESUMING

March 2, 2010 – Following the magnitude 8.8 quake that hit central Chile in the early morning
hours of Saturday February 27, 2010, Santiago International Airport suffered structural damage to
the passenger terminal. No damage was reported to the runways and taxiways. All incoming
and departing flight operations were suspended until authorities evaluated the situation in order
to guarantee maximum safety for passengers. Turismo Chile would like to communicate the
latest update regarding operations at Santiago International Airport provided by the airport
authority, SCL Aeropuerto de Santiago, on March 2, 2010 following a meeting with Chile’s
National Civil Aviation Authority and airlines operating at the airport.
Flight operations will resume in two phases:
Phase 1 – March 2 to 5, 2010 – Domestic flights will gradually resume operations with a limited
schedule between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. and international flights also with a limited schedule will be
operating between 8.pm and 8 a.m. A temporary makeshift terminal has been set up in tents in
order to process departing passengers. All arriving international flights during this period will
stopover in another Chilean city prior to landing in Santiago in order for passengers to clear
Chilean customs and immigration formalities.
Phase 2 – March 5th onward  – Domestic and international flights will be operating 24 hours. All
domestic flight arrivals and departures will be operating out of a makeshift terminal set up in
tents located to the east of the airport’s old terminal. International flight departures will move to
the domestic flights sector of the current terminal. International arriving passengers will clear
Chilean customs and immigration formalities in a makeshift facility set up in tents to the west of
the current terminal.
All passengers should contact their airline for updated information on flight schedules and
changes.
US and Canadian tour operators and media requiring additional information or assistance can
contact Turismo Chile at [email protected]

[email protected]*****

March 4 – From Hacienda Los Lingues-Chile (edited for clarity)

Santiago, Chile, March 2, 2010

Dear Sirs:

Hacienda Los Lingues is not in condition to receive passengers due to the arthquake in Chile that happened the last Saturday. For this reason, lamentably, we will be unable to realize reservations of housing until further notice.

All these reservations that have been realized for the next months, we will not able to consider until further notice.

We will be in contact with you, as soon as possible.

My best personal regards,

Germán Claro Lyon
General Manager

Hacienda Los Lingues-Chile
Phone: 56-2-4310510 //
E.mail: [email protected]
www.loslingues.com

**********************************************************************************

March 3 – From: Hotel Antumalal, Pucon Chile

“Dear Paula (Mendes,

We have received many calls & letters from our friends & customers, thank you for your care & concern.

Revealing images are showing the world the dimensions of the earthquake, and public systems are slowly being reestablished. Our phone system is normal and the airports are now opening.

This is a big disaster for our little country!

In Pucon the jolt was strong – we were up all night – however, there is no damage. Our main concern was the volcano, yet it appears completely still and vigilant of our unrest. Antumalal is a fortress built on rock , wise man : Don Guillermo …. The hotel´s 60 anniversary will be October 2010.!!

We resisted the quake of 1960 – and today once again, we are blessed with no damage. Our family & staff are doing well. Warm summer days continue & our guests are enjoying our flower´s late blooming as the park is alive with color.

We ask for your prayers for those less fortunate: we do hurt for them – as we contemplate the paradise around us.

Thank you again, for your concern and we hope to see you soon in the near future.

Best regards,

Rony Pollak

Hotel Antumalal

Pucon Chile

“Simply an Experience”

f: 56 45 441011

www.antumalal.com

*********************************************

March 3 – From: Tierra Atacama

Hello Paula – thanks for your concern. Personally I am in Europe and travelled before the earthquake, so missed everything. Fortunately my family and friends back in Chile are well and safe. I am attaching our latest press release, as the Atacama was not affected in the slightest, and our offices in Santiago are functioning normally. It’s important to note that whilst the area affected has been devastated and it will require time and a lot of effort before things are back to normal, the rest of Chile, including Patagonia, Atacama and Easter Island are all functioning normally and once Santiago Airport is fully operational (expected early next week) there is no reason NOT to visit chile! We need support to get this message out as the media in general is concentrating specifically on the worst hit area, which is more than 1000 miles from Atacama and Patagonia.

Thank you and best regards!

Fiona Martin

Sales & Marketing Manager

Tierra Atacama

Santiago de Chile, 3rd March 2010

A message from Tierra Atacama:

Dear Friends;

We thank you all for your concern and the messages of support we have received following the unfortunate events which occurred in the south of Chile early on the morning of Saturday 27th February. We are relieved to report that all our employees, families and friends are well. The earthquake was hardly felt in the north of Chile where Tierra Atacama is situated and everything is running absolutely normally.

Our commercial offices in Santiago are operating normally and you can contact us via email or telephone where our team is waiting to assist you.

We would also like to inform you that the DGAC (the Chilean Civil Aviation Authority) has now permitted the partial opening of Santiago airport, starting with a limited national and international service which will increase slowly over the next few days until normal services are resumed.

For the moment we are offering two alternatives for those guests who are unable to travel to Tierra Atacama in the near future. Change the date of the reservation for one in the future, or request a 100% refund. Please let us know if you would like to take one of these options.

If you would like to help Chile recover from this event, the Chilean Red Cross is accepting donations in the following bank account;

Citibank / Account Number : 9941973331 / ABA Code: :021000089 / Address; 153 East 53 Rd. Street 4th floor. NY, NY 10022.

If there is any additional information we can help you with, please do let us know and thank you once again for your support and concern.

Warm Regards

Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa

***********************************************

March 3 – From: The Cascada Expediciones and EcoCamp Patagonia Team

Chile´s Earthquake Important Notification

On Feb 27th 2010, 03:34 hrs local time, the central zone of Chile was hit by a strong 8.3-Richter-level earthquake originated near Cauquenes Province in the Chilean 7th Region. Major zones affected are located in the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th regions and the Metropolitan Area of Santiago. The 10th, 11th and 12th regions which comprise what is commonly known as the Chilean Patagonia, and the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th regions which comprise what is commonly known as Atacama and Norte Grande were not affected by the earthquake waves.

Having clarified this, we notify that all the operations and touristic services developed by Cascada Expediciones and EcoCamp Patagonia in the Altiplano, Atacama Desert, the Lakes District and Chilean Patagonia, including Torres del Paine NP and San Pedro de Atacama are totally normal and safe.  Regarding food, energy and general supplies for the Chilean Patagonia –our main operational zone- have no danger of shortages as these are normally brought from the Argentinean neighbor province of Santa Cruz.

The only point of interruption of our service operational chain is Santiago’s International Airport, which suffered significant damage in the passengers’ transit area having to stop all its operations while recovering works are going on. Recently the Chilean National Aeronautical Authority announced that this airport will start operating again on a partial basis starting from tomorrow Monday March 1st.  The same organism stated that apart from this Airport the entire nation’s aeronautical infrastructure is working normally and safely at full capacity.

The entire network of Cascada Expediciones and EcoCamp Patagonia employees and provider partners are working hard to keep our operations as successful, safe and normal as it have been previous to this natural phenomenon and we encourage all our past, current and future travelers to be confident with their travel plans and continue enjoying our services in Chile and Argentina.

For further information or requests please contact your Cascada’s travel consultant. We will keep updating the news as advances go on.

Saludos desde Chile,
The Cascada and EcoCamp Patagonia Team

****************************************************

March 3 – From: Ski Portillo:

Dear Paula, Thank you very much for your concern.  Fortunately, we are all right  here and the hotel too.   The worst happened down in the south of our country, devastating dear.   I’m forwarding you the press release our Marketing Mngr. Constanza Moya has just sent.

“   Dear Partners,

Thanks for your concern and support during this very difficult moments Chile is going through after the earthquake.

We want to share with you the press release we sent about the hotel, lifts and road.

Best regards,

Constanza MoyaMarketing Director | Directora de MarketingSki Portillo-Chilewww.skiportillo.comTel: 56-2-263 0606Toll Free USA: 1-800-829-5325 or from Canada 1-800-514-2579P Ahorre tinta y papel, imprima este mensaje sólo si es necesario.

SKI PORTILLO IS UNHURT BY THE CHILEAN EARTHQUAKE
Hotels, Infrastructure, Ski Lifts and Roads are in good condition

Portillo, Chile (March, 2n, 2010) .- Ski Portillo, located approximately 100 miles from Santiago, Chile’s capital city, escaped the recent earthquake with no injuries, and only superficial repairs. Tierra Atacama, sister hotel, located in San Pedro de Atacama, more than 1,000 miles north of the epicenter, is also undamaged.

According to Henry Purcell, owner of Ski Portillo, “We have some superficial cracks and some painting to do, but the roads to Portillo and all of the lifts made it through the earthquake without incident.  We are very fortunate to have escaped without any injuries or damages, but we grieve for the people of Concepcion, which is far from Portillo and near the epicenter of the quake and I encourage anyone who wants to help to send their humanitarian support.”

“There should be no impact for travelers to Ski Portillo for the season, which runs from June 19 – Oct. 2, 2010.  And for travelers to Tierra Atacama, which is open all year, there should be no problem once the Santiago airport is back to normal probably next week.”

To send aid, Ski Portillo recommends donating to one of two of Chile’s leading charities, or to the international organizations Habitat for Humanity/World Vision or Red Cross:

-         Un Techo Para Chile (A Roof for Chile) – Similar to Habitat for Humanity, and will help those who lost their homes to rebuild anew.  http://www.untechoparamipais.org/chile/.

–         Hogar de Cristo (Home of Christ) – Founded by a priest who recently was named as a saint.  It focuses on the less fortunate, and will be helping victims of the earthquake.  Hogar de Cristo also accepts and distributes clothing, toys and food.  www.hogardecristo.cl
–         Habitat for Humanity or World Vision. Send an SMS with the text “CHILE” to either  # 20222 or #25383 to donate US$10 to Habitat for Humanity or World Vision.

–         Red Cross: www.redcross.com

For more than 60 years, Ski Portillo has seamlessly united the spectacular beauty of the Chilean Andes, the pure joy of skiing and snowboarding, the camaraderie of friends and family, and the resort’s unique brand of hospitality and service, delivering unforgettable vacation experiences where guests create the memories of a lifetime. For more information or to book a Portillo vacation (including air travel), visit www.skiportillo.com or email [email protected] or call toll-free from North America, 1.800.829.5325.

Our best wishes for you and team.

Susana Guzmán
Asistente
Gerencia General

[email protected]
Tel. 56  263 0606
Fax. 56 2 263 0595
www.skiportillo.com
Toll Free USA 800 8295325
Toll Free Canada 800 514 2579

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March 3 – From: Cascada de las Animas
From: “Joe Willis Jones” <[email protected]>Date: March 3, 2010 9:48:50 AM GMT-08:00To: <[email protected]>Subject: RE: Checking in after the earthquake

Hi Paula,

Thank you for your email and your concern.  In our area of Chile, we experienced virtually no damage from the earthquake and are operating normally.  Our biggest issue at the moment is to reassure incoming guests that the earthquake will not impact their visit, and that there is no cause for alarm or reason to cancel their visit.

We have posted a notice on the main page of our website www.cascada.net, to apprise visitors of the situation and the effect of the earthquake on Chile’s tourism industry.  If you have a moment, please have a look at it.

As far  as what the ATTA can do to help, the organization should do its best to reassure tourists that there is no reason to take Chile off of their schedule.  The effect of the earthquake on tourism opportunities and services is minimal, and the revenue generated by tourism will be a significant part of the monies need to help fund the recovery efforts that are necessary to help those Chileans who were affected by the earthquake.

Thanks again,

Joe Willis Jones
Cascada de las Animas

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Editor’s Note – March 3: ATTA waited a few days in the immediate aftermath of the Chilean tragedy to contact our Members there to see if there’s anything the the adventure tourism industry might do to try to assist our friends and colleagues in their time of need. Below you’ll find a couple of responses from Chile from the morning of March 3rd. ATN will continue to publish here updates on the situation, along with appeals from our ATTA Members there.

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