Argentina: Foreign tourists rise 9 percent in January

Number of Argentines who travel abroad stays flat amid soaring domestic tourism

The year started off on the right foot for incoming tourists sector as more foreign visitors arrived in the country in January, spending more than the same month last year.

On the bad news front though, the number of Argentines who chose to travel abroad stayed relatively flat and their spending sharply decreased.

The number of foreign tourists visiting the country in January rose 9.3 percent, compared to the same month last year, to 706,400 people and their spending rose 17.3 percent to US$290.9 million, the INDEC statistics bureau reported yesterday.

Meanwhile, the number of Argentines who travelled abroad rose a mere one percent to 1.02 million people and their total spending plunged 18.5 percent to US$212.8 million

The figures show a continuing trend following the positive results of 2014, when more foreign tourists visited Argentina but the amount of money they spent here declined.

The number of visitors from across the world increased in January. Most of the foreign visitors arrived from Chile (148,700 people), 16 percent more than the same month last year, and Brazil (131,900 people), an increase of 10.7 percent. Many also came from Paraguay (76,300 people) and Europe (78,500). Visitors from the United States, meanwhile, numbered 45,000, representing a four percent increase.

Foreign tourists stayed an average of 14.9 nights in the country, with Europeans ranking as the ones who stayed the most with an average of 21.7 nights. Overall, tourists spent a total of 3.8 million nights in Argentina in January, marking a 13.8 percent increase from the same month last year. The average amount spent per day was US$76.3 and Uruguayans were the ones to spent the most with US$128.5. Most visitors came by land (368,000) and plane (267,600).

Travelling abroad

When Argentines chose to travel abroad, a majority went to Brazil (262,100 people) although Chile ranked a close second (261,300 people). A large number of people also travelled to Uruguay but the 108,000 Argentines who chose to cross the River Plate was 1.9 percent lower than the same month last year. Almost 32 percent fewer Argentines travelled to Europe and the number who chose to travel to the United States declined by almost six percent. Most people travelled by land (653,000) and plane (247,000).

Argentines stayed an average of 14.3 nights abroad, totalling 3.1 million nights, 13.5 percent less than the same month last year. The average amount spent per day while abroad was US$68.8, 5.8 percent less than the first month of last year.

“The very positive beginning of the year for the tourism sector is due to the important work done to advertise and consolidate Argentina as a first-class international destination,” Tourism Minister Enrique Meyer said. “We need to keep on betting on tourism as it creates jobs and brings more foreign currency into the country.”

The larger number of foreign visitors in the country has come as more people are choosing to travel domestically this summer. A total of 11.2 million people have travelled domestically in January, a figure that is six percent higher than the same month last year. Most of the people chose to visit the Buenos Aires province coastal cities, as well as Córdoba and the Patagonia region.

“We are exceeding our goals set at the beginning of the season and thanks to the advertising campaign carried out throughout the year we achieved a high number of tourists travelling across the country,” Meyer said.

A path to growth

The number of foreign tourists visiting the country rose 13.1 percent in 2014 to 5.9 million people, but their spending decreased 0.9 percent to US$2.6 billion. Meanwhile, the number of Argentines who travelled abroad dropped 3.4 percent last year to 6.5 million people, and their total spending consequently declined to US$3.075 billion.

The higher number of foreign tourists in Argentina is in line with world tourism figures as the number of international tourists travelling the globe increased 4.7 percent last year to 1.1 billion people, according to the latest UN World Tourism Barometer. The Americas registered the highest rise in tourism with a seven-percent increase.


Date: March 7, 2015



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