Why Agents Should Know Puerto Varas, Chile


Travel Agent sat down with TravelMart Latin America creator William H. Coleman Wednesday. Coleman, who started the event 32 years ago, told us that one of the main factors in picking the show’s host destination is whether that destination is serious about tourism. After we sat down with Bettina Holzmann, director of the meeting and planning company Meet Inn Patagonia, we learned why Patagonia, Chile was chosen as the host for next year’s event. Although the actual show will take place in the small town of Frutillar, located in the Patagonia region of the country, Puerto Valaras will host most of the events.

Puerto Valaras certainly meets the needs Coleman told us about. In fact, two of the host hotels for next year’s event haven’t even opened yet and another just opened about a year ago. Sol Melia, Patagonia opened its doors about a year ago while Enjoy Hotel & Casino and Colones Del Sol, both in Puerto Valaras, will open in December. The event is expected to boost attention to the little known southern portion of Chile.

Attendees will fly to Santiago, Chile, where they will connect on a nearly two-hour flight to Puerto Montt. Puerto Varas is a mere 10-minute drive from Puerto Montt. The destination, like most Latin America getaways, offers eco- and soft-adventure travel. Since Cartagena, Colombia and now Quito, Ecuador are building steam from hosting TravelMart Latin America, expect Patagonia, Chile to do the same. Start learning about it now so that you’re prepared when the countless amount of young, adventure-seeking clients come knocking on your door asking about it. You heard it here first, southern Chile will be absolutely huge in 2009 and beyond. An official web page is expected to be launched in about eight weeks with further details for the event, which will run from September 23–25. When we get them, we’ll pass them along.