Another area of significant new investment is tourism, which increased significantly during the 1980s, aided by government efforts to promote it both domestically and abroad through the National Tourism Service (Servicio Nacional de Turismo--Sernatur). More than 1.5 million tourists visited the country in 1992. Sernatur reported that during 1992 a total investment of US$320 million in hotel construction had either already been made or was under consideration in Viņa del Mar, Santiago, Cuenca del Sol in Coquimbo Region and the ski resorts of La Parva and Valle Nevado. For the 1992-2007 period, more than US$2 billion is expected to be invested in tourism infrastructure projects in Chile.
One of the most important tourist destinations is Coquimbo Region, about forty-eight kilometers north of Santiago. The region is considered to have some of the best beaches and climatic and geographic conditions in Chile. A US$505 million project to develop 330 hectares with nine kilometers of beaches north of Coquimbo's capital, La Serena, was awarded competitively to a Spanish-Chilean consortium in 1992.
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