Why Chile’s Route of Parks will be a ‘game changer for tourism’

Patagonia’s dramatic wildernesses are opening up to visitors, but the growth in tourism will be married to conservation and locals’ needs, says the woman behind the project.

The pioneering conservationist behind the world’s most ambitious rewilding project has revealed “game-changing” plans that could transform tourism in Chilean Patagonia.

After 25 years of strategic land acquisition by Kristine Tompkins and her late husband Douglas – which led to the creation last year of five new national parks in southern Chile – Tompkins said the next challenge was to encourage 60 communities across the region to develop tourism ventures that will help protect the biodiversity on their doorstep.

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Wild thing … a guanaco in Parque Patagonia. Photograph: Linde Waidhofer

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