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ECONOMY | 21-04-2018 19:37

Government wins US$2-billion tourism boost, Macri receives award

Argentina saw one million new air passengers in 2017 compared to a year previous and its highest ever level of hotel bookings.

The government received a timely tourism boost this week, after the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) announced a US$2-billion investment from its members to help develop the sector.

The news rounded up the WTTC’s annual global summit, which took place at the Hilton Hotel in Buenos Aires this week – the first time the event has been held in South America – and gathered together more than 800 executives, including industry leaders and ministers from G20 member nations. President Macri was also honoured with an award recognising him as a “World Leader” for travel and tourism, an honour given to serving heads of state who have supported the development of the tourism sector.

The president has regularly spoken of the tourism opportunities in Argentina and his push to invest in infrastructure and introduce low-cost airlines into the nation has altered the tourism landscape significantly. Argentina saw one million new air passengers in 2017 compared to a year previous and its highest ever level of hotel bookings.

Gloria Guevara Manzo, the President and CEO of the WTTC, said: “President Macri has demonstrated great commitment to the travel and tourism sector and we are proud to recognise the president as our first WTTC World Leader for Travel and Tourism. His clear message of Argentina being ‘open for business’ has benefitted tourism enormously.“

Delivering a speech to those gathered for the summit, Macri said that tourism was growing “non-stop” in Argentina and that tourism “has huge potential in Argentina and is essential to people’s development,” because it means “more quality jobs.”

The country “has returned to the world convinced that it has a lot to offer. It wants to receive everyone and give them our warmth and affection,” he added. “Tourism is development; it is giving us the opportunity to make a real transformation in thousands of towns and cities across Argentina.”

After announcing the investments, Christopher Nassetta, chairman of the WTTC, told industry websites that the group “could not be more satisfied to be the immediate witnesses of the benefits of the investments that are taking place” in Argentina.

“In total across the country, Travel and Tourism supports 1.8 million jobs today, and we expect to add another 300,000 jobs here over the next decade with our collective investment of nearly US$2 billion an important driver of this growth.” – TIMES

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