Argentina tourism—Experts predict a “record season” for Argentina’s tourism industry in the coming months.
After nearly shutting down entirely in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the industry is expected to continue its recovery this year. In the first three months of this year, the Tourism and Sports Ministry expected more than 16 million tourists to travel.
Earlier this week, the national government said that Argentina’s top tourist sites had “a fantastic start to the year,” with shady lodging places such as Villa Gesell, Pinamar, and San Carlos de Bariloche at or above 90% occupancy.
On Thursday, Buenos Aires Province tourism officials predicted that the summer of 2022 would see record numbers of Argentines flocking to the seaside. Buenos Aires’ Economic Federation President of Tourism, Daniel Loyola, predicts “a record season across the country, with growth even in destinations that are not normally popular in summer” (FEBA).
For example, there has been a 98% increase in hotel and gastronomic activities within La Plata, in the province of Buenos Aires, in only the last quarter. To put it another way, if a place that isn’t usually a tourist attraction sees an increase in visitors, other more traditional tourist hotspots, such as the Partido de la Costa or the Buenos Aires mountain regions, will be at the top.”
A New Scheme for Argentina Tourism
The government’s PreViaje program, which aimed to resurrect pandemic-stricken tourism by reimbursing taxpayers for some of their expenses, has experts optimistic about this year’s numbers.
This week, a report stated that about 100 billion pesos were generated by the government’s Previaje program for 4.5 million Argentinians last year. According to government data, more than 10,000 people were eligible for a 50% credit toward the purchase of tourism services in advance in 2021, according to government data.
According to the Argentina Tourism & Sports Ministry, there were 99 billion pesos spent by Mexicans on tourism last year, with 51% of that money going to travel agents, 32% to lodging, and 12% to air transportation services, according to the Tourism & Sports Ministry.
PreViaje PAMI, a version geared toward pensioners that reimburse 70 percent of costs, was also utilized by over 400,000 persons, according to the report.
The most popular tourist destinations in Argentina tourism were the provinces of Buenos Aires (22%), Ro Negro (19%), Córdoba (10%), Santa Cruz (9%), Mendoza (8%), Tierra del Fuego (7%), Neuquén (7%), Misiones (6%), and Salta (6%), with Buenos Aires City (4%).
San Carlos de Bariloche, Ushuaia, Mar del Plata, El Calafate, and Puerto Iguaz were the top five destinations, followed by Salta, Mendoza, Buenos Aires City, Villa Carlos Paz, and San Martn de los Andes in second and third place, respectively.
Tourist Mats Lammens said in response to the report that “the most important policy in tourism history” was the PreViaje initiative.
He claimed that the national government had “injected more than 51 billion pesos into the industry” due to this initiative. It had been a significant source of seasonal employment during the holiday season.
Opposition parties have slammed the plan for its high cost.
Brutal Blow to the Argentina Tourism
An estimated 1% to 4% of Argentina’s GDP is likely to be lost because of the coronavirus epidemic, which has hit hard the country’s already-struggling tourism economy.
A wide range of businesses in the travel industry is preparing for the new reality awaits them. Leaders in the business community are pleading with the federal and provincial governments for immediate assistance to keep their companies afloat.
Everywhere you look, the tale is the same. Depending on how long travel restrictions are in place to combat the spread of Covid-19, the UN estimates that the global GDP might be reduced by 1.5% to 2.8% due to tourism losses.
Argentina’s tourist industry currently contributes 10% of its GDP and 10% of its workforce. According to the Tourism Ministry, the industry earns 165 billion pesos (approximately US$2.3 billion) in the domestic market and employs 1.1 million people each year. However, this was all before the pandemic began to take hold.
No Certainty Left For Argentina Tourism
“This crisis has reached such dimensions because of scientific uncertainty and the reality that countries react differently,” said Martin Eurnekian, CEO of Aeropuertos Argentina 2000. “To relaunch the sector, we require global standards, and public awareness of what they need to do and how they need to do it will be raised.”
To put it another way, according to the Gastronomic Hotel Business Federation (FEHGRA), an organization that represents the country’s hotels and restaurants, between 80,000 and 120,000 jobs will be lost by 2020. In May, 3,870 businesses in this industry went out of business. Seventy-five percent of tourism businesses are anticipated to go out of business if the current situation persists, according to FEHGRA. For Argentina tourism, an internal study by the organization found that 23% of hotel owners could pay their payroll for June, and only 10.8% of the customers could pay their suppliers. The gastronomy sector is no exception to the grim outlook.
“This is Argentina’s most serious hotel and restaurant crisis ever. For almost 120 days, we have been on a complete shutdown,” FEHGRA stated in a news release.
According to the organization, as a result of the pandemic, hotel occupancy is expected to fall between 20% and 50% in the coming year. Emergency legislation is now being sought to preserve the tourism industry, facing high fixed costs like wages and taxes that most businesses can’t pay. People in affected provinces are urging authorities to begin planning for a post-pandemic economy, especially in areas with no new confirmed cases.
While the country is dealing with the pandemic, the national government has already introduced legislation to renew the industry in Congress and support Argentina tourism. If you purchase any tourism services this year, you’ll receive a coupon for 50% of your purchase that you can use next year.
The project is expected to cost the government 16 billion pesos, but it will benefit up to 1.1 million people who purchase tourism-related goods and services. President Alberto Fernández’s administration’s decision has been well praised, but the business is demanding additional measures such as tax reductions.
Looking to the Future
At this time, it’s tough to make long-term predictions for practically any industry, but it’s especially challenging in Argentina tourism. Upon their return, nothing will be the same – social distance is required, personal interaction has been limited, and stricter hygienic standards are only some of the new normals that travelers must deal with.
Thousands of businesses have been ruined, and millions of people have lost their employment due to the global decline in tourism—short and medium-term plans to revitalize tourism, and regional economies are crucial at this time of uncertainty.
According to Natalia Bayona, World Tourist Organization expert in innovation and digital transformation, “Travellers are eager for novel tourism products underpinned by biosecurity protocols and contribution to sustainability.” For the sArgentina tourism to get back on track, “the development of segmented experiences is critical.”
One of the most important aspects of regaining one’s sense of self-worth is regaining one’s faith in abilities. And this can only be achieved by a coordinated approach to the entire tourism value chain. Bayona’s goal is to convince clients that all of the safety and sanitary procedures are being implemented.
Traveling in the wake of a pandemic will necessitate a combination of foresight, consideration, and meticulousness. It is now necessary to consider the local health care system and the protocols followed by each tour operator when making a destination decision. A significantly more significant role will be played by digital booking and payment than previously.
Aldo Elias, head of the Argentine Chamber of Tourism (CAT), remarked that “the whole community has to be more attentive when it comes to living, and not just visiting.” There will be fewer opportunities for staff and guests to interact due to this decision.