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Court rules against Easter Island cards

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13 October 2009

Tourists hoping to visit Easter Island while on a tailor-made holiday to South America could find it is easier to do so following a court ruling made in Chile.

Last month, authorities on the Pacific island introduced a compulsory card, with people being required to fill in details about their movements.

It was intended to track the number of visitors heading to Easter Island as well as their behaviour and followed a similar measure taken by Ecuador in relation to the Galapagos Islands.

But Chile's supreme court has deemed the mandatory card to be a violation of the constitutional right to freedom of movement, although a voluntary system is likely to remain in place.

Around 70,000 tourists visit Easter Island each year, with the famed Moai statues the main attraction.

Discovered by Europeans on Easter Sunday of 1722, the destination is thought to be the world's most remote inhabited island.

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