Argentina: lifting of currency restrictions should spur tourism

Argentina tourism destinationsEurope could be seeing an influx of visitors from Argentina now that the new Government has lifted currency restrictions and the artificial exchange rate, which were limiting inbound and outbound travel, according to London-based JacTravel.

The agency is forecasting steady growth of Argentine tourists in the coming months as the changes kick in.

“Travel to and from Argentina is going to be much easier now. The foreign currency tax has been scrapped, the limit on buying foreign currency has been relaxed and the paperwork needed for travel has been significantly reduced,” explains JacTravel sales director Alexia Renedo.

The announcement by the Argentinian government last December came after four years of restrictions, which had discouraged international travel.

“The 35% tax on foreign currency by the previous government was a huge increase and it had a big impact on people traveling out of Argentina,” she said.

Argentina had a tax on travel spending with credit and debit cards, as well as limits on the amount of foreign currency Argentinians could buy.

“It used to be a very small sum of money; now it is $2m/month. Outbound travel companies were similarly restricted; they could only wire $50K a day which was a big problem as they had to slow down sales (by applying higher mark ups); now there is no limit,” said Renedo.

“On top of this, there was much bureaucratic form-filling which needed approval from local tax offices,” she added.

JacTravel says that its forecasts are based on discussions with several leading travel agents and tour operators in Argentina who use JacTravel’s services.

In bound travel to Argentina should also benefit from as been on inbound travel, with the new measures and the resulting devalued Peso expected to make the country a more appealing and affordable destination in the coming year.

Argentina’s new President, Mauricio Macri, has said he hopes that easing restrictions will help to boost exports and spark economic growth.

JacTravel says that the destinations most favored by Argentinian visitors in Europe include Madrid, Barcelona, London, Paris, Rome and other major cities.