Tourism would have lost between US$ 30 and 40 million

The minister of the area, Federico Posadas, said that they are planning green areas where the activity can be developed, adding that today the priority is health care and trying to flatten the Covid-19 infection curve.

Between 30 and 40 million dollars per month would have been lost in the tourism sector due to the pandemic. The calculation arises from the estimate that about 15 million dollars were being invoiced per month and that discounting subsidies and some other benefits, this figure could be reached. As it is known, the tourism sector is one of the hardest hit by the health emergency and in that sense, during the last week thirteen gastronomic establishments lowered their blinds definitively.

Smith
Photo: Smith

The Minister of Culture and Tourism of the province, Federico Posadas, spoke yesterday with El Tribuno de Jujuy, who did not want to risk any figure by mentioning that to calculate the amount of the loss since the pandemic began – in the last four months – it would be necessary to calculate the months that were not billed, add the subsidies and the billing involved in the program “Jujuy for the Jujuy people” and what each of the hotels received for the repatriation. This figure is minimal in relation to the good seasons of previous years. “It is far below the number we had been working on, which was around 15 million dollars a month,” he said.

In this context he said that last year the sector had reached a record of economic movement of 170 million dollars, passing in the last four years from 20 to 25 thousand jobs in the tourism activity.

He also clarified that the priority today is the health issue, “recovering control of the situation, trying to flatten the curve as much as possible to ensure that everyone who has the virus and is infected can have a bed, a subsidy and be within the capabilities of the health system. As long as we guarantee this, we will return to normal.

Sector expects domestic tourism

On the other hand, he referred to what are the expectations once the phase 1 is lifted, taking into account that this Sunday will be two weeks of strict quarantine issued throughout the province, it is expected that the cases will go down and depending on it see from next weekend that activities can be recovered little. He also said that in terms of domestic tourism, it has been shown that it serves to maintain the supply as much as possible, but “we need at some point to return with the program ‘Jujuy for the Jujeños’, which had been much better than all the national, provincial and municipal subsidies that we could give,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said that the whole sector is grateful for each of the subsidiary policies that the State has, but what it most wants is to return to the new normality, complying with the protocols and applying all the biosecurity measures. Within this framework, he said that they hope to have the possibility of setting up green areas within the province, then add the whole province and think about integration with Salta to finally talk about national tourism.

Meanwhile, taking into account that on September 1st the national flights return, this is an important date that could mean that tourists come, “obviously the final decision that we can receive tourists will depend on the provincial Executive. Each governor will determine whether the provinces are authorized to receive tourists, travelers or flights,” he said.

He pointed out that since the province of Buenos Aires is where most of Covid’s cases are focused, another alternative will be sought in order to connect the provinces without the need for flights to leave that city and adapting specific protocols to know how each of the passengers visiting the provinces will be received.

Critical situation

The head of the Tourism Agency (Nasa), Yolanda de Quiroga, said that the situation of travel and hotel companies is now desperate, because they are behind closed doors, trying to meet rental and service costs. She added that most of them had to draw on their own savings to cover expenses and there are those who requested credit. However, he said that they have expectations that the Provincial Government will see the possibility of reopening the program “Jujuy for the Jujuy people”, especially in the towns that are not considered red zones.

Waiting for a key period

For his part, Tourism businessman Fernado Sandor said that during the months of January and February there was a good outlook, with possibilities of growth and travel for people but that it was cancelled after the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic. He also referred to the program “Jujuy for the Jujeños”, pointing out that it was a good alternative, but that the Jujuy market has certain particularities.

“I believe that the one who made the expectations that he was going to save himself with that program was wrong, we know that it is a limited market both from the possibilities of offers and the economic possibilities in general. I think that when this situation ends there will be a period where people will be desperate to travel and we will be prepared for that”.

Author: Celeste Marconiz, El Tribuno