After a record 2010, the tourism industry is expected to continue its growth on this season about to begin. Over the years, tourism became an important source of income for different regions of the country. Globally, tourism accounts for one in twelve jobs in the world and this year is expected to generate about 9% of global GDP.
The preliminary figures provided by the Ministry of Tourism indicate that last summer there were 24,508,097 arrivals to different destinations in the country, representing an increase of 6.2 % over the previous year, and nearly 40% above the 2003 mark.
According to the figures provided, more than five million foreign tourists arrived in Argentina in 2010, setting a record of visitors. According to statistics, the number of foreign tourists was 20% higher than 2009, and generated usd 5 billion in incomes, equivalent to an increase of 24% compared to last year.
Under the guidelines of the Federal Strategic Plan for Sustainable Tourism, the Ministry of Tourism presented the 2011 plan. During 2011, more than 160 promotional activities will be held in the different regions. It is worth mentioning that 85% of these actions will be directed to consumers.
Some of the measures listed were: cooperative actions, participation in single events and sporting events, general and products fairs, fam tours, urban interventions and / or in public spaces, business meetings, seminars and workshops, among other activities.
The 2011 Action Plan has been developed and designed from a federal perspective, considering the contributions and views of every tourism sector in Argentina. The Plan highlights that Argentina is a culture rich country with a plurality of races, beliefs and ideologies, being a country with a vast territory, with geographical diversity, climate and a high quality gastronomic offer, making it even more interesting.
The plan will take off with the start of the Dakar. A promotional truck will follow the path of the competition throughout the Argentine territory, displaying a series of games and digital activities that will increase awareness of domestic destinations acting as a motivator.
In its 33 years of history, the world’s toughest rally had its epicenter in Africa but in the last three years is being held in South American soil. The third edition will run between 1 and 16 January on a journey of 9,000 miles. The various stages will tour the provinces of Buenos Aires, Entre Rios, Cordoba, San Juan, Santiago del Estero, Catamarca, Tucumán, Salta and Jujuy.
During the past months, all these provinces have been preparing themselves to show 15 million viewers per day worldwide. There are huge expectations surrounding the rally and the benefits that will bring to each of the destinations. Last year, some 4.1 million people (3.1 in 1 million in Argentina and Chile) approached the places where the competitors went to see them live. During the first three days of the previous edition, Argentina and Chile were the focus of global media attention, being broadcast images of the rally in 190 countries and broadcast approximately 1,200 hours of competition.
While prices in major touristic places have experienced an increase of around 15-20% over the previous summer, this factor has not been an issue for planning holidays in the country. The proximity, the diversity of options and the growing and improved tourism infrastructure are some of the advantages of Argentina.
The preferred destinations for this summer will be, once again, the classics: the Atlantic Coast, Patagonia, Cordoba and to a lesser extent, Mendoza and Northwest provinces, which until a few years ago hardly had a summer option but have now begun to receive strong attention thanks to its many cultural, historical and natural attractions.