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Thu Feb 19, 2015, 02:32 PM

Argentina: Number of foreign tourists up 13 percent

The number of foreign tourists visiting Argentina in 2014 rose 13.1% to 5.9 million people; but their spending decreased 0.9% to US$2.6 billion, the INDEC statistics bureau reported yesterday. Meanwhile, the number of Argentines who travelled abroad dropped 3.4% 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 the world tourism figures as the number of international tourists travelling the globe increased 4.7% last year to 1.1 billion people, according to the latest UN World Tourism Barometer. The Americas registered the highest increase in tourism with a 7% increase.

Domestic summer tourism grows

So far this summer, 16.8 million have traveled domestically, an increase of 7.6% when compared to the same period last year, according to a report by the Tourism Ministry released yesterday. Out of the 16.8 million, 11.2 million correspond to January, 6% higher than the same month last year.

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

Most chose to visit the Buenos Aires Province sea-side cities, Córdoba, and the Patagonia region. Mar del Plata welcomed 827,671 tourists, 7.7% more, during the second half of January and had a hotel occupancy rate of 85.6%, while Pinamar received 801,626 tourists, 8.3% higher than last year and had a hotel occupancy rate of 93%. A total 62,183 tourists traveled to Córdoba, which saw a 64.3% hotel occupancy rate. Villa Carlos Paz and Villa General Belgrano were the main tourist destinations in that province.

Villa La Angostura was one of the most visited cities of Patagonia during the second half of January with 19,857 arrivals, 7.5% more, and a hotel occupancy rate of 92.3%. Bariloche, Las Grutas, El Calafate, Esquel and Puerto Madryn were also on top of the list. In the North, Salta was the most visited province; and in Cuyo, Mendoza was the most chosen destination.

At: http://www.buenosairesherald.com/article/181401/number-of-foreign-tourists-up-13-percent

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I first visited Argentina in 1999 while still in school, and I try to go back every three to four years. I recommend it if you haven't already; it's inexpensive, safe as foreign travel goes, and probably has the most diverse geography in the region.

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