The city of Buenos Aires has announced it is expecting a large increase in international tourism in 2018 and 2019.
According to official statistics released by the government of the city, bookings to travel to the city from July-December this year are by 25 per cent.
London was Europe’s fastest growing point of origin by these metrics (growing by 76 per cent or by 2,900 passengers), followed by Frankfurt (up 39 per cent), Bogotá (up 23 per cent), and Madrid (up 17 per cent).
With regards to arrivals between January and May of 2018, international tourism arriving in the city by air transit grew by 3.4 per cent, with 796,000 tourists arriving to Buenos Aires, exceeding the 2017 figure by 26,000.
Foreign tourist expenditure also grew by 5.2 per cent, US$25 million more than in 2017, while the room occupancy rate in hotels shows a sustained growth rate, which peaked at its highest level in the last seven years between January and April 2018 (58 per cent).
Two key factors can explain this growth.
First, as a world class city - recently named as the most liveable city in Latin America by The Economist - Buenos Aires has a unique cultural, historical, architectural, artistic and gastronomic appeal to foreigners, mixing European sophistication and Latin passion, and preserving its identity whilst constantly being at the vanguard of new global trends.
However, the distance and cost of visiting the city has been a brake on growth of tourism.
But with a recent devaluation of the peso, Argentina’s national currency, tourists are increasingly finding they can enjoy world class hotels, dining, fashion, culture and nightlife at very affordable prices.
Perhaps an even more important long-term factor is the new and increased international air connectivity which Buenos Aires is witnessing.
Norwegian have led the way with low-cost long-haul flights to direct from London.
And far from harming their competitors, this has opened up Buenos Aires to a whole new marketing, with competing routes also seeing an increase in reservations since the Norwegian route opened.
Furthermore, in the coming months there will be new connections in Zurich and Los Angeles, which are projected to add approximately 38,700 more tourists per year.
Gonzalo Robredo, president of the Tourism Authority of Buenos Aires, said: “We have the opportunity to position the city as the most visited place in the southern hemisphere.
“To achieve this, it is necessary improve infrastructure and the value and capacity of our hotels.
“We will also be working closely with the UK trade, media and airlines flying from London - currently our leading point of origin in Europe - to promote our destination.”