The Economic Impact of Tourism to Chile’s Patagonian National Parks

Region & Country

Chilean Patagonia is a sparsely inhabited area well known for its lakes, mountains, fjords, glaciers and rich biodiversity. The National Parks System in Chile, represented by  CONAF (Corporación Nacional Forestal, the National Forest Corporation) has been working with The Pew Charitable Trusts on Project Finance for Permanence (PFP), an innovative approach to achieving long-term financial sustainability for the national parks system.

To help support these efforts, CSF is conducting a series of analyses to demonstrate the economic impact of tourism to Chile’s national park system (SNAPSE, Sistema Nacional de Áreas Silvestres Protegidas del Estado, National System of State Protected Wild Areas) with a particular focus on parks in the Patagonia region.

Specifically, CSF is conducting: 

  1. a travel cost analysis to explore recreational preferences across the national parks; 
  2. a willingness to pay analysis to provide insight on adjustments to park entrance fees that could increase revenues for the park system; 
  3. a literature review of the economic impacts of protected areas, especially in relation to local communities; and 
  4. a matching analysis to compare communities with protected areas to those without protected areas, in terms of local development and population well-being

Our ultimate goal is to support sustainable financing and management of the Chilean national park system and meet international standards for protection. 

Support for this project is provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Photo: Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
Photo Credit: David Ionut/