25 Oct 2010

Chile plans US$270 in investment on Easter Island

2:51 pm on 25 October 2010

A Rapa Nui tourism operator, Conny Martin, says news that Chile will be investing 270 million US dollars in Easter Island is long overdue.

Chile's Vice President, Rodrigo Hinzpeter, has just visited Rapa Nui and announced a plan to improve infrastructure, boost tourism and regulate migration.

Agence France Presse reports Mr Hinzpeter as saying the investment is 20 times more than what's been done in the past 15 years, but some Rapa Nui people have rejected the plan saying they want real autonomy.

However Ms Martin, who's a long-time resident and married to a local man, says many islanders welcome the investment and they quickly dispersed an airport protest by some indigenous islanders as the Chilean delegation left at the weekend.

"A big number of people, of islanders, kicked them off because they said, look, we want to work. We want [that] Easter Island keeps a good reputation so that tourists keep coming to the island."

Easter Island tourism operator Conny Martin.