Uruguay The 2023-2024 season is already underway after its official launch and the government hopes that the key sector of its economy will continue to consolidate its recovery to definitively overcome the effects of the pandemic.
To this end, the Executive maintained several incentive measures for foreign tourists and announced others aimed at residents, such as zero VAT in hospitality for this summer, announced by the Minister of Tourism, Tabare Vieraduring the launch of the season in Dove, Rochaon Friday night and in which he participated Ambit.
The event, in which the president participated Luis Lacalle Pou hours before embarking on your trip to China and which had musical shows enjoyed by the local population, revealed the good, although moderate, expectations of the government and tourism departments for the coming months.
Minister Viera highlighted the resilience of the tourism sector in Uruguay after the hard blow that the Covid-19 pandemic represented and recalled that in the first nine months of the year the number of visitors who arrived in the country exceeded the total for 2022.
“Tourism is growing in terms of the number of visitors. Spending by tourists has also been growing. It is true that it does not grow in the same proportion as the number of visitors, but it is growing,” he stated.
The Argentina effect and the growth of the Brazilian market
Regarding the effect of the Argentine economic crisis on the decrease in tourists from that country who choose the UruguayViera highlighted the loyalty of that public and reported that chambers and real estate agencies handle a good amount of reservations, which is why he was optimistic.
“Argentina continues to be a fundamental market for us and we must recognize that they are loyal customers. They are our brothers, there are even several who move to Uruguay“, he said before hundreds of people, among whom the national director of Tourism stood out, Roque Baudean; the mayors of Rocha, Alejo Umpiérrezand from Maldonado, Enrique Antía; and the mayor of La Paloma, Sergio Muñiz.
And he added: “Despite the circumstances that they have had to live through due to economic and financial difficulties, there are signs such as the traditional October holiday and the level of reserves that indicate that we are going to have a good season.”
However, the Minister of Tourism highlighted as a counterpart to the loss of Argentine tourists, mainly middle class, the increase in the arrival of Brazilian visitors, a market on which the portfolio focused its latest operations to promote local destinations.
At the end of the third quarter of the year, visitors to Brazil They totaled 150,007, said Viera, who explained that this is a record number, since it is the best in the last ten years. “That is why together with the tourism chambers and the departmental governments, we have redoubled our commitment to promotion in that market,” he added.
Consolidate domestic tourism
The government decided to extend the zero-rate VAT benefit in hotels for Uruguayan tourists from December 15 to April 30, in response to a claim from the tourism sector and thus seeking to motivate residents to spend their leisure time in he Uruguaya tough battle considering the exchange difference with Argentina.
In addition, Minister Viera announced that starting in February a new subprogram of Tourism For All intended for dependent and independent workers who have an income equal to or less than 9 BPC (50,000 pesos). This is a 50% subsidy on accommodation, for five-day stays from Sunday to Thursday for hotels registered with the Ministry of Tourism and that adhere to the program.
Meanwhile, Mayor Umpiérrez, host of the launch of the season, announced a series of benefits, such as a 50% reduction in the contribution on accommodation, for the tourism sector and entrepreneurs who wish to settle in the Roches spas.
It should be remembered that benefits such as zero VAT on hotels and accommodation, gastronomic services and vehicle rentals were extended for foreign tourists; the 40% discount on fuel in the border areas with Argentina and 25% in the border areas with Brazil, and the tax refund on certain purchases.