Argentinian Tango World Championship means uptick in local tourism

World Today

Argentinian Tango World Championship

It’s like the World Cup of Tango, and it’s underway at the Buenos Aires Tango Festival. The World Championship attracts participants and tourists from around the globe. Visitors enchanted by tango come all year long come to this dance capital-looking to learn more about its culture. However, inflation and a stuttering local economy have an impact on those trying to earn a living from the dance. CCTV America’s Joel Richards reports.

Argentinian Tango World Championship means uptick in local tourism

Argentinian Tango World Championship means uptick in local tourism

It's like the World Cup of Tango, and it's underway right now at the Buenos Aires Tango Festival. The World Championship attracts participants and tourists from around the globe. Visitors enchanted by tango come all year long come to this dance capital-looking to learn more about its culture. However, inflation and a stuttering local economy are having an impact on those trying to earn a living from tango. CCTV America's Joel Richards reports.

La Boca, Buenos Aires, is where the tango was born. The area is one of the city’s key tourist attractions. A photo here will set you back around $3, or 30 pesos. Four years ago photos sold for 5 pesos. Tourism is down, as inflation is up.

Those working here in La Boca are protective. The look-alike to Argentine football star Diego Maradona won’t let you point a lens unless you’re paying.

Tourism depends on the season. Even with the tango festival in full swing, there are fewer visitors here than in summer. And they said tourism is down year-round because of the economy.

It is difficult for those trying to earn a living from tango. For many, teaching is the best option. For many tourists this is an essential part of a visit to Buenos Aires. It’s a tango class at La Viruta, one of the city’s number one dance halls.

Gabriel Guzman is a teacher at La Viruta, holding classes almost every night of the week. He explains there is a special code, a style, that all dancers must pick up quickly. As well as teaching, Guzman and his partner Romina moonlight as ‘taxi dancers.’ It’s a small but growing business, to help newcomers enter the world of tango.

Hired by the hour, a taxi dancer accompanies visitors to a local milonga, explains the local ‘code’ of the tango, and guarantees a dance. For tourists, it is a personal guide to an exotic world. For locals, another way to earn a living with their feet.