The director of the Dakar Rally said in presenting the 2013 edition of the event that the organization plans to continue to hold the off-road race in Latin American in the coming years.
"In the first place, because they've received us very well and have given us all the facilities. But also because it's inconceivable at the moment to go back to Africa," Etienne Lavigne said.
The director also referred to talks underway with Paraguay, Uruguay, Brazil and Ecuador to incorporate those countries into the race, which currently spans Argentina, Chile and Peru.
"But nothing's been finalized. There are political contacts and we've surveyed the terrain in some areas," he said.
Officials from Peru, Argentina and Chile were on hand for the presentation of the 2013 Dakar Rally, which will begin in Lima on Jan. 5 and end in Santiago two weeks later.
The president of the Peruvian Tourism Ministry's Dakar Commission, Gabriela Gutierrez, said the previous race generated some $70 million in direct revenue for her country and that figure is expected to double this time.
Next year's rally route will run for the fifth time through Argentina, whose tourism minister, Enrique Meyer, stressed the importance of the race remaining in Latin America.
He said Argentina estimates it earned some $180 million in revenue from the 2012 rally.
For his part, Chilean Secretary of State for Sports Gabriel Ruiz Tagle said the "Atacama desert is part of Dakar's DNA" and it is highly unlikely that region will be excluded from future editions.
Chile, which will host the final three stages of next year's rally, estimates the country earned $103 million in revenue from the 2012 event. EFE