More positive tourism data today on both sides of the River Plate validating the growing attraction of Argentina and Uruguay as a safe, affordable refuge despite economic weakness playing out on other continents. Not only are foreign visitors coming in greater numbers, they are staying longer and spending more.
Newly released tourism numbers for Argentina reveal over 220,000 international passenger arrivals at Buenos Aires’ two airports in September. Altogether these tourists spent US$293 million in Argentina, or US$1,331 per passenger, an 8% increase over the US$271 million spent in September 2010.
Argentina’s global appeal is evident in the diversity of arrivals including Brazil (38%), Latin America (20%), Europe (16%), and the US and Canada (8%). The average visitor spent US$120 per day while the average Brazilian spent US$220, a trend we have chronicled in detail.
In Uruguay, we already know the tourism odometer will roll over to 3,000,000 this year, and now we know what the financial impact will be. The Uruguay Ministry of Tourism is forecasting a 30% increase in tourism revenue for Summer 2012 compared to Summer 2011. 1.06 million tourists entered Uruguay last summer and spent US$1.07 billion. The average daily expenditure was US$118, and the average stay was 8.5 days. According to the government, Uruguay tourism revenue should top US$1.5 billion this coming summer.
Economic strength and purchasing power of Argentine consumers is also evident in the 16.5% increase in the number of Argentines traveling abroad in September compared to the same month last year.
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