Cheaper peso expected to boost Argentine tourism

Global Business

Argentina’s poor performing peso has made travel to the country a relative bargain for many visitors from abroad. And with the Southern Hemisphere summer around the corner, the tourism industry is banking on a boost.

CGTN’s Joel Richards reports from Patagonia.

Follow Joel Richards on Twitter @joel_richards

The Glaciers National Park is a UNESCO world heritage site, one of South America’s top tourist destinations. As the summer months near, visitors can see up close the changing landscape.

Laura Devoto has been a tour guide in the region since 2015 and says it is the chance to escape that makes the park such an attractive place to visit.

“I think here you are in contact with nature, that is important thing, you are next to glaciers, next to the ice, you saw it today, you unplug yourself, there is no wifi. That’s great, right?” Devoto said.

This year there are a number of uncomfortable realities many Argentines may want to escape from, even if just temporarily.

Many analysts predict inflation will approach 50 percent this year, its highest rate since 1991.

And the peso has been the worst performing currency in emerging markets this year, reaching a record low in August.

But that also has a positive knock on effect, said the Tourism Secretary for El Calafate.

“The devaluation in Argentina has been good for tourism, especially a place like El Calafate where 50 percent of tourists are from abroad. We are now at more of an advantage,” Tourism Secretary Alexis Simunovic said.

Argentina’s government has identified tourism as a sector they hope will generate jobs and bring in foreign currency.

The Chinese market is particularly attractive, currently accounting for just 3 percent of tourists to this part of the country.