February 4, 2023

Lakeview Gazette

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Best start to the season in 5 years, but the middle class has been slow to come back

They attribute it to the end of needs due to the epidemic and the desire to celebrate. Occupancy is around 90% due to the high number of Argentinian and Brazilian tourists.

with the right foot. This is how the season started in Punta del Este, which is expecting the highest number of tourists in the last five years. The The end of almost all pandemic needs And the need to meet and celebrate again are factors that attract more visitors. However, the higher income middle class, Still haven’t returned in a big way to Uruguay City.

At this turn of the year, Portuguese is heard almost as much as Spanish on the streets of Estena. But there are also many Argentines who are Punta del Este’s main tourist clientele. That intrusion becomes aggression About 90% of hotels and temporary rentals In the first week of January, and some establishments are fully booked, a good omen after two seasons of fall and two more epidemics.

“From this Thursday to January 6, our hotel has 100% occupancy. Same goes for weekends in January and February. The average for both months is 93%. This is 8% more than what was recorded in 2019”, celebrates Javier Ascura, Director of Corporate Relations and Sales of Enjoy Punta del Este Hotel.

This is an example of a phenomenon that is seen globally. “For New Years, the hotels in Punta are completely full,” explains Analia Suárez, owner of Ava Hotel Boutique and president of the Punta del Este Hotel Center. This time many Americans came because We are expensive for ArgentinaBut for the rest of the world, no”.

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The beginning will be auspicious in the rental sector as well. wonders Alejandra Covello, a broker who has worked in the industry for decades. “As of January 5, the occupancy is 90%. Almost 70% already for the first fortnight. Huge demand is seen. Brand new products with features”, notes the president of Covello International. According to Hotel Center estimates, the offer of rental apartments as hotels in Punta has tripled that of traditional hotels.


Season opener at Casa Mar Parador in La Barra de Punta Este with Cristian Castro and Zaira Nara. Photos: Emmanuel Fernandez

As for the place of origin, “the concentration of Brazilians coming through Revilon is quite astonishing. [fiesta de fin de año en Brasil], although it is also true that the Argentines copy them and come to this date – Covello observes -. The excitement of this celebration is interesting”. According to official sources, 31 night There were at least 50 parties In the Maldonado field.

Suarez estimates that half of tourism consumption goes to Argentines, 25% to Americans, 20% to Brazilians, and the rest to travelers from Chile, Spain, Paraguay, Canada and other countries. The main change observed Long stay: “More services are contracted, and there is more interest to enjoy without restrictions,” says Ascura.

At Enjoy, the distribution between Brazilians and Argentines changes dramatically depending on the time of the season: in December there were 43% of the former and 27% of the latter, this month it expects 35% and 60% respectively, and in February it expects 41% of its guests to be Brazilian and 34% Argentine.

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Further The number of flights increased to the tip. “Businesses have increased in frequency and load factor: there are 20% more landings and 40% more line passengers than in December last year,” says Alejandro Rivero, General Manager of Laguna del Sas International Airport. But he clarifies: “Compared to 2019, we are with 35% fewer passengers from commercial lines.”

First glimpses of summer at sea in Punta del Este.  Photo: Emmanuel Fernandez (Special Envoy)
First glimpses of summer at sea in Punta del Este. Photo: Emmanuel Fernandez (Special Envoy)

On private services, the figure was a repeat of last year’s December: 3,700 passengers. “From Christmas to Friday there were a total of 300 flights,” said Julio Manco, country manager for Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay at Flapper, a company that charters private planes over shared flights. The company has booked 14 flights since December 20, a significant number for this type of service which is still relatively new.

Goals: Return to 2017 and restore the middle class

“We still have to wait and see how the month continues, but we have started well and the forecast for January is very good. The objective is Restore pre-pandemic levels of aggression But, above all, going back to 2017 was a great season,” says Martin Laventure, General Director of the Tourism Department of the Municipality of Maldonado.

The summer of 2017 is longed for, not only because of its high level of occupation, but also because it was the last before the collapse. “Starting in 2018, the economic situation in Argentina and especially the devaluation intensified the crisis on this side. Argentina is Our main customer“Laventure agrees. Then came the pandemic, and now, it’s “revisited and enjoyed.”

Tourists at a clothing store on the beach.  Photo: Emmanuel Fernandez
Tourists at a clothing store on the beach. Photo: Emmanuel Fernandez
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The challenges are now Degrade this target So there are tourists all year round, above all, to attract back the middle class, which ultimately brings more income, because they usually don’t have their own residence or car.

Some actions to achieve the first objective are a Theater billboard Even in winter, racing Wine and ecotourism, and hosting congresses and competitions such as poker tournaments or rally races with electric cars. The second challenge, on the other hand, is more difficult.

“Uruguay generally has incentives like tax breaks for tourism and a good offer for all budgets. The problem is that it’s also necessary for the middle class. Restore your purchasing power”, analyzes LaVenture. An impasse, for now, cannot find an antidote to Argentina’s accelerated demonetization.

East point. Special Envoy

B.S

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