You were appointed as Executive Secretary of INPROTUR in 2020. What goals have you set yourself for Argentinian tourism?
The goal is to rank Argentina as the worldwide reference in tourism that it actually is. We know that we have infinite potential, and it is our mission to develop it. Ever since we started, we set ourselves significant lines of work, such as the creation of the Directorate of Products. Here we developed a series of notable segments for our incoming tourism and, in spite of the difficulties entailed by the pandemic, we already saw positive results, such as leadership in Latin America in Meetings Tourism, the boost to Sports Tourism with a strong promotion in the PGA Golf Latin America or the continuous interest of travellers in our LGBT offering, among many other aspects. The main goal is to bring back the pre-pandemic number of tourists and to increase expenditure by foreign tourists in Argentina.
Among your responsibilities is the planning of promotion strategies in all countries that are potentially outgoing tourism to Argentina. What would the main lines of this planning be in 2021?
Currently, and at a higher scale due to the pandemic, we are carrying out an impressive digital promotion, with campaigns similar to the successful ones we produced in 2020, such as #travelfromhome or #ArgentinaAwaits. Along these lines, we aim to continue promoting activity on the @visitargentina account on social media, with virtual meetings on Instagram such as the Argentina Travel Talks, launching Local Stories on YouTube and the creative campaign Momentos, showing several exciting experiences that can be had in our country.
Also, thanks to the great success we had last year and the possibility of easily reaching the world, we are still producing webinars for professionals of around 40 international markets. We have also designed great press work, and with influencers, which will give us visibility in the major media in America and Europe.
What are the main outbound markets to Argentina right now, and their new trends?
Obviously, due to proximity, the bordering countries make up almost 60% of all incoming tourists, followed by, in this order, the United States, Spain (the second incoming market of non-bordering countries), Peru, Colombia, France, Italy, Germany, United Kingdom, Mexico and Canada. We must bear in mind that these 15 countries make up 89% of all tourists that Argentina receives annually from abroad.
If we talk just about Europe, Spain is the main outgoing market to our country, ranking seventh in general arrivals to our country, with more than 215 thousand arrivals before the pandemic. France, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom also show good numbers. The new trends are related to biosafety and nature, aspects that place us in a very good position.
How do you think that a fair such as FITUR can contribute to promoting tourism to Argentina?
FITUR has always been an icon for the tourism industry. Therefore, because of everything that it represents globally, and also because of the historic affinity between Argentina and Spain, it is an unbeatable chance to show in detail what we offer. To be at FITUR is to rub elbows with the main characters in the industry. This enables us to hold meetings, close important agreements, publicise the image of Argentina and generate relationships for the future to achieve long-term results, among other possibilities.
What will you be presenting new at the next edition of FITUR?
Mainly, within the worldwide context, our idea is to show the tourism world that Argentina is a safe destination healthwise. To this end we are working closely with all provinces and towns of the country, along with the nation’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports, to produce important Health Protocols that can be viewed on our content Hub .
In 2020 we also had the privilege of receiving the Safe Travels seal from the WTTC, a seal that allows us to stand out and to transmit a message of trust and safety to the travel community, as well as having a successful experience with the interior summer tourism season, because in January and February 2021 there were 12 million tourists travelling around Argentina, without any massive contagion hot spots. This is testimony of the experience developed by companies and the public sector in handling tourism with the existing pandemic. We consider that this is an essential element to be showcased at FITUR. We are working on an impressive presentation for Europe.