For the dollar trap, Argentine tourists bet on quotas and local destinations

The uncertainty that reigned before the last elections in Argentina caused many to have to redefine their vacations. To which, since last Monday, was added the exchange cepo, which will make the situation more complex for those who travel abroad.

Photo: Fermín Rodríguez Penelas
Photo: Fermín Rodríguez Penelas

Although Uruguay already tempts Argentines with promotions and tax exemptions as well as an offer of leisure, gastronomy and shopping, there are many who this time will opt for holidays in local destinations. Others, as reported in tourism agencies such as Socca and Bustos, anticipated to book trips abroad and hire in installments and pesos, for fear that this benefit will be “cut” soon.

The anticipation is very significant for tour operators. If until last year, the strong movement of consultations and sales was during October and November, this year is located in September and half of last month.

Contacting local operators during the two weeks prior to the elections, flight searches on the website increased 300% over the previous month. Many people rushed to buy their summer tickets for fear that after the elections, prices would skyrocket.

The trap affects those who want to travel abroad, but because there are no restrictions on card payments, many people were reassured. However, there are still fears of new restrictions or taxes on card purchases abroad and many are choosing to travel around the country for this reason.

According to a survey conducted by the property portal Zonaprop, 84.9% of those interviewed said they felt affected by the inflationary context when planning their vacations. According to the site, last year, 49.8% vacationed in the country, 32.9% traveled abroad and 17.2% did not go on vacation. For this summer, although 80.6% are planning to take vacations, only 34.2% have already planned them. While 19.3% know they will not go anywhere. 58.6% responded that they will vacation within the country, while only 39.3% plan to go abroad, although all experts predict that this number will have a big setback, reaching even 20% according to some agents. The destination they think will suffer the most is Punta del Este in Uruguay.

Avantrip, meanwhile, notes that sales after the PASO allowed them to make a difference as to close the year with good sales, despite the context of crisis. Tourists hired in advance, paid in installments and pesos, and reserved everything they could from Argentina to beat inflation and the rise of the dollar. They also took advantage of bank promotions and maximized points and miles.

In the anteroom of the Cybermonday, agencies bet on destinations whose routes did not faithfully follow the rise of the dollar. “There are interesting opportunities and even some routes cheaper than a few months ago to fly to Madrid and Rome, U.S. destinations such as Miami and New York, Brazil as Rio de Janeiro, Buzios and Salvador de Bahia,” they say in Avantrip.

In Argentina, the Atlantic coast concentrates more than 40% of the summer tourist movement. And this season, with the trap and uncertainty of the dollar, there are many who are excited about a summer in which towns like Pinamar, Cariló, Mar de las Pampas and Costa del Este attract faithful holidaymakers from Punta del Este and Brazil. Pinamar tour operators are anxious. While there is still no noticeable increase in bookings, they are preparing for a busy season, provided the increases are not excessive and lead tourists to do the numbers several times and risk traveling abroad.