Throughout the past year, the world has given more attention to the country that snakes along the coast of the South American tail. Having experienced much in 2010, including a record-breaking earthquake and the captivating story of 33 miners fighting for survival, Chile has landed in the hearts and minds of people from all over the world and has enjoyed a steady growth in tourism as a result.
But while traditional tourist spots will continue to be a favorite among many, the rise in ecotourism is making headway for those seeking to uncover the hidden treasures of this beautiful country.
The Sendero de Chile (Chilean Path) project was designed to create a tapestry of paths that tell the tale of Chilean history, landscapes and culture – perhaps the road Frost would’ve taken had he ventured to warmer climates. With claims that it will be the “longest hiking route in the world” once completed, the project was originally slated to celebrate Chile’s 2010 bicentennial anniversary of independence from Spain, but was delayed due to funding and other issues.
While the Sendero project seeks to raise greater environmental awareness through its trails, a stronger social media presence and more active engagement of current digital tools could not only increase interest in the project from both local and global tourists, but also help to raise needed funding. Here are just some of the social platforms the Sendero de Chile project might explore:
While traditional social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, are currently used, there are ways they can better engage with their audience. For example, rather than hosting a friend page, a fan page would include more relevant features to display, including customizable walls, photo sharing capabilities, fundraising options, and open discussions about specific trails, and be a more open conduit to attract new visitors. At the same time, while there are only a reported 60,000 Chilean Twitter users, there might be opportunities to engage many of these (and the handles of global users) through a more targeted approach – much more than the seven tweets currently shared by @senderodechile.
As of September 2008, there were a reported 4,827,387 Chilean Fotolog users (Chile reportedly has the most accounts) uploading and sharing photos. By incorporating photo sharing capabilities onto the Sendero website, hikers can not only enjoy the experience of the trails for themselves, but share those memories with others. In this way, the story of the trails are told not only through the lens of project workers and volunteers, but through the unbiased photographers as well.
With the growth of digital crowdsourcing, websites such as Crowdrise offer a free and easy way for foundations and non-profits to raise money. With only a few clicks of la ratón de la computadora, Sendero can create a profile and share their own mini-website with millions of visitors who come specifically looking to donate to worthy causes and projects.
The Sendero de Chile project is truly a collective effort of the Chilean government, environmentalists and volunteers who want to celebrate the country’s heritage and natural beauty. By positioning the Sendero site as the social gathering for outdoor enthusiasts – both local and foreign – the project is sure to capture attention and financial support and thrive as one of Chile’s most natural tourist spots.