MONTEVIDEO – Stakeholders from Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay gathered Thursday in Montevideo for a Regional Destinations Congress about boosting tourism in the Southern Cone through research and the development of marketing strategies.
The aim is to foster an “exchange of knowledge about new trends in destination marketing” to bring more visitors to the region, Arnaldo Nardone, president of the Latin American and Caribbean Convention Centers Association, told EFE.
Nardone said that most tourism in the Southern Cone involves residents of the region.
“If you look at the case of Uruguay, we see that over 65 percent of foreign visitors to the country come from Argentina, about 20 percent from Brazil, and the rest from Paraguay and Chile,” he said.
A similar situation can be seen in Argentina and Chile, Nardone said.
“There is proximity tourism among these four countries,” so “it is important that we know each other,” Nardone said.
Uruguay’s deputy tourism minister, Benjamin Liberoff, told EFE that the annual number of foreign visitors exceeds the country’s population of 3.4 million, adding that between 75 percent and 80 percent of those travelers come from within the surrounding region.
“It is important for us to diversify attractions and to target segments and markets in the region,” he said.
Antonio Carambula, executive director of the Uruguay XXI foreign trade promotion agency, told EFE that “four out of every five journeys are within the region.”