Those of you thinking of coming to Argentina or traveling soon, rejoice! President Mauricio Macri’s administration is set to lower air fares and reimburse the Value-added tax (VAT) for foreigners entering the country. The objective of the measures is to stimulate tourism.
According to the Tourism Ministry, taking away these tariffs will cost AR $1.4 billion in the short term, but the economic benefits should lower the loss to AR $600 million. According to Tourism Minister Gustavo Santos, one of the biggest economic benefits will be the creation of 6,000 jobs in the medium term.
“This way, hotel rates become more competitive, so we expect a higher number of visitors who, in addition, will spend more. That way, the cost of the measures will be compensated,” explained Santos at the Buenos Aires Mediterranean Foundation.
According to La Nación sources, the first step for the government is not authorizing any air fare increases for the time being (the government sets a minimum fare airlines must match or go above). Afterwards, it will be a case of how the market evolves.
These measures are included within an overall plan to revamp the tourism sector: according to Santos, there are already investments worth AR $26 billion (AR $12 billion from the State, the rest is from the private sector).
The idea is to increase the number of foreign visitors by 50 percent by 2019, including policies directed at bringing in more tourists from the US and China. Santos’ objective is to raise the number of tourists from 5.7 million to 9 million a year. That’s a lot of parents and college friends, guys. Brace yourselves for more house visits.