IKN

Take physic, pomp

So how’s the tourist high season going in Argentina

Take one large dose of swine flu panic, flavour with a dash of financial crisis. mix in rising unemployment and understated inflation and let’s see what we have via this Spanish language report in Critica:

Mar Del Plata (Argentina’s most popular coastal resort): Hotels with few reservations and low occupation rate. Buscompanies laying off drivers and subcontracted vehicles. Unlikely to break 50% occupancy rates through the winter break season. Restaurants offering cut price menus.

Bariloche (main ski resort): 50% fewer charter flights arriving from Brazil. Unofficial figures have hotel occupancy at 20%, despite good snowfalls and ski conditions.

La Leñas (number two ski resort): Foreign arrivals down 30%. More exclusive than Bariloche, officials insist that occupancies are at 95%.

Iguazú (the famous waterfalls on the Brazil border): 65% occupancies though “yesterday at 90%”. People less worried about swine flu in this tropical zone. Most tourists arriving in own vehicles (approx 16 hours by road from Buenos Aires).

Córdoba (central city, popular for short breaks): “Apocalyptic panorama”. “The season is lost. For us July is always the best month of the year but the (swine) flu has hit us hard, people aren’t getting together and we have a lot of cancellations” says Jorge Piñiero, the president of the association of bars. Worst affected businesses are school outing and package tours.

Northwest Argentina (tourist route area from Catamarca through Tucuman, Salta and Jujuy): Occupancy rates at 66%, 15% lower than the norm. Local tourism suit Fernando García Soria says “The percentages aren’t bad, considering the difficult context.”

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