National and World

Sale of tourist packages in Argentina is paralyzed after devaluation weight

January 30, 2014 10:08 am

Buenos Aires, Jan 30 (Entravision) .- The sale of tourist packages in Argentina was paralyzed in the last week in the aftermath of the sharp devaluation of the peso and the flexibilities of the foreign exchange restrictions on the part of the Government, Efe reported today to industry sources.

“The business was paralyzed. There are consultations, but are not specifying operations”, detailed Gaston Kulik, sales agent of the tourism company Babylon.

According to Kulik, “there is uncertainty about the value of the dollar”, which is traded today to 8.02 pesos per unit after depreciating more than a 34 per cent this month, and “the people are waiting to see if the situation is stabilized to buy”.

The director of Buzios Tours Business Plus, Andrew Schwartzman, pointed out that in the brake in the temporary sales also influenced the indecisiveness of the Government, which first announced it was going to reduce the 35 per cent to 20 per cent surcharge on tourism operations and two days after he went back.

“People are speculating, don’t know what to do, because there were variables that were forward or back and are waiting to see if it returns the (tax) to 20 %, 25 %, if it goes to 50 %, if the dollar low … “, said Schwartzman.

The devaluation of the peso has increased the price of international travel, fixed in dollars, and has resulted in an increase in the domestic tourism to the detriment of the exterior.

“It has been retracted a lot the sale of the packets to the outside,” said Monica Pellazzia, manager of confluence travel.

According to Pellazzia, “people who thought in a trip in the order of the two thousand dollars, for example in Brazil, and now does not come with that budget, makes a trip to a destination of Argentina”.

Kulik added that there are also changes in the travel abroad, where they are replaced more expensive destinations, such as the Caribbean and Mexico, by other more economic, such as Brazil, although he stressed that the reduction in demand has been accompanied by “a decrease in the dollar price”.

The director of Buzios Tours Business Plus stressed that a large part of the tour packages for the next few months were sold months ago and the effects of the devaluation of the peso will become more visible in the second half of the year.

“People purchase well in advance. You should buy now the passage for later because that is what they are going to pay the rate of the day today, to travel in September, October,” he explained.

The peso has depreciated this month more than 34 %, its highest devaluation in more than a decade, and has increased the threat inflation in Argentina, which could reach 30% this year, according to private estimates.

Following the depreciation of the Argentine currency, the Government once again authorized last Monday, the purchase of dollars for the savings, but kept intact the surcharge of 35% for the international tourist packages and for the purchase of cards abroad.