According to data provided by the government, in the first quarter of 2011, tourism revenues increased 57% in Uruguay from a year ago, reaching usd 1,070 million. These figures exceeded every expectation and responded to increased tourist arrivals to the country during the summer.
The government says that if the trend continues throughout the year, Uruguay will receive currency per usd 2,350 million in 2011 from tourism, compared to usd 1,478 million throughout 2010.
In Uruguay, the tourism sector accounts for more than 6% of gross domestic product (GDP).
Regarding the number of tourists, official sources pointed out that in the first quarter of the year 1,620,689 tourists arrived, when in the same period in 2010 was 755,279, representing an increase of 40.7%.
By nationality, the presence of Argentina increased 49% to a total of 675,400 tourists, while the arrival of Brazil increased by 27.8% to 122,384 total revenues.
The visit of Uruguayans living abroad rose by 56%, with 119,128 incomes during the first three months of the year.
The arrival of Chileans rose 27% to 24,829 persons, while the Paraguayans advanced by 13% over 2010 to total 15,634 tourists. The rest of America accounted for a total of 21,216 tourists and an increase of 31% from a year ago.
The president of the Chamber of Tourism of Uruguay, Luis Borsari, said the number (volume of money) is a record in the last 10 years. In the same vein, the president of the Chamber of Tourist Hotel Industry of Uruguay, Remo Monzeglio, said the country is recording the levels of 1996 when there were 200 hotels less. The employer estimated that the average occupancy of the shelters was around 80% during the first quarter of 2011.
For the tourism entrepreneurs, at least two factors allowed the strong presence of Brazilian and Argentine tourists in Uruguay: the favorable exchange rate to the Brazilians and the opening of the international bridges in Argentina.
The current government’s efforts are aimed to develop a better infrastructure and invest appropriately in the area.
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