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As the Peso Plummets, Argentines Favor Local Destinations for Vacation and Holidays

By | [email protected] | July 2, 2018 5:18pm

BuenaVibra BarilocheBariloche is one of Argentina's top destination for this summer (Photo via BuenaVibra)
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On Friday, the Argentine peso hit an all-time high with the currency trading at nearly $30 to the US dollar, creating more economic difficulties and headaches for different industries. However, it’s not all dark skies ahead: this current landscape is actually favoring Argentina’s domestic tourism sector.

Cities like Bariloche, Puerto Iguazú, Buenos Aires, Salta, and Mendoza are gaining importance in the domestic market, even surpassing international cities like Miami or Santiago for the Argentine population. Although most international destinations are becoming second choices for travelers, one is still doing rather well, as it finds itself in a similar financial situation and isn’t as far away away as other places: Brazil.

The Argentine peso started its sharp decline in May, two months before the winter holidays and when people were starting to book their days off. The timing was definitely ideal to start thinking about dream locales, which were quickly influenced by the money that they’d save staying close to home. Destinations like New York or Miami, where the summer temps tend to boil in July, don’t currently lead the rankings like they typically have done in other seasons.

The study was conducted by various websites: Booking, hoteles.com, Airbnb, Almundo, Despegar, and Bibam Group. The results concluded that in the ranking of July’s top 10 destinations, five were in Argentina, compared to only three in 2017. This year, Buenos Aires and Bariloche lead the pack (last year Miami took the #2 spot). Hoteles.com noted that there was an important increase in reservations for Mendoza, Salta, and Bariloche, reaching around 200 percent. In comparison, bookings for hotels in Santiago de Chile are down 20 percent compared to last year.

Why would you go to Miami when you can party in Salta? (Photo via Wikimedia)

Given the roller coaster journey of the peso, the average cost of airfare for a trip increased around 40 percent in dollars from late April. Compared with last year, prices increased 77 percent for the Argentine population. However, trips to Europe weren’t totally off the radar, given Russia’s position as 2018 FIFA World Cup host. If the peso’s downward spiral continues, though, transatlantic trips back to the Old World might continue to decrease.

The peso isn’t the only thing which could explain this situation, as other factors could be taken into account. New offers on domestic flights, often providing connections from low-cost airlines, are another explanation to this trend.