. Visitors from the UK soared 7% this year.
. Meeting with Tracey Crouch, Min. of State for Sport, Tourism and Heritage, to continue bilateral cooperation.
. New: elimination of VAT on accommodation & non-discrimination on air fares for foreigners.
9th November -London. Upon arrival at the World Travel Market in London Minister of Tourism Gustavo Santos predicted a spike in figures from 5.7 to 9 million tourists by 2020, helped along by improving international and domestic connectivity, investments in infrastructure and the development of “ecotourism”.
In order to achieve it, Santos held meetings to improve global air connectivity between our countries. “Without connectivity there can be no tourism”, he said. Passengers flying from the UK to Argentina have soared 7% this year. Santos wants to boost those numbers by increasing the number of flights.
Last July, Air Europa announced they would be running 4 flights per week connecting London and Cordoba as of December. With the same aim, the Minister revealed that progress has been made in discussions with Norwegian Airlines to open the London - Buenos Aires route as of late 2017.
“Behind the word ‘tourism’ there is an industry that provides us with 7% of our GDP and employs one million people”, said Carlos Sersale di Cerisano, Argentine Ambassador to the UK.
On Tuesday, Santos and Sersale visited the Houses of Parliament to meet with Tracey Crouch, the Minister of State for Sport, Tourism and Heritage.
Crouch, a fan of Tottenham Hotspur and World Cup winner Osvaldo Ardiles, greeting guests with a miniature football pitch laid out on her desk, broke the ice by surprising the Argentines with her knowledge of their game compared with the Premier League. At the top of the bill, Santos stressed the vital importance of improving connectivity between the two countries.
During the encounter, both parties praised the framework for cooperation set out in the Joint Statement between the UK and Argentina in September this year. The document outlines their pledge to build bilateral relations around a positive agenda, including tourism, with the aim of laying the foundations for a cooperation agreement. Among some areas of common interest, they highlighted the need to boost ties in academia and sport through exchanges, to encourage food tourism and to use art to regenerate urban areas. Parties will retain the agreement preventing double taxation.
Announcements & Meetings
During his visit, Santos was emphatic in highlighting new policies to boost tourism:
. Foreigners will pay the same price as locals on domestic flights.
. VAT exemption for accommodation will reduce traveling costs by 21%.
. Discounts for travellers buying more than 3 connections, previously held exclusively by Aerolíneas Argentinas, will extend to all the companies.
Minister Santos held meetings with his Brazilian counterpart, Marx Beltrao, with Stuart Whittington, from Journey Latin America and with representatives from Cox and Kings, Airbnb, Audley Travel, Latitud Patagonia, Air Europa UK, LATA TOURIST BOARD LIAISON MEETING, E-dreams-Odigeo-Opodo and WTTC.
Photo (@ArgentineEmbaUK): Ramiro Fernandez Patri, Tourism Minister of Formosa, José María Arrua, Tourism Minister of Misiones, Carlos Sersale, Argentine Ambassador to the UK, Gustavo Santos, Argentine Minister of Tourism, Sebastian Giobellina, Chairman of the Tourism Body of Tucumán, Mariano Ovejero, Tourism Minister of Salta, Valentín Díaz Gillighan, Undersecretary General of the President’s Office.