BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA – Buenos Aires is gaining momentum on the international tourism radar having welcomed an estimated 2,7 million travelers who arrived through the city’s major airports, Ezeiza International Airport (EZE) and Aeroparque Jorge Newbery (AEP) from January to December 2018, representing an increase of 5% over the prior year. The trend is projected to continue in 2019, thanks to added connectivity and pledged support from the local government for hospitality projects.
“Over the last year, international tourism generated over $2 billion for the city,” said Gonzalo Robredo, president of the Tourism Entity of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires. “From hosting distinguished events to ramping up promotional efforts in key markets, as well as increased air connectivity from the west coast, Buenos Aires has established itself as the cultural capital of South America on a global scale.”
Last year was exceptional for the city of Buenos Aires as some of the world’s most renowned events took place. The G20 and U20 Summits, Art Basel - making Buenos Aires the first partner in the Art Basel Cities initiative - and the Summer Youth Olympic Games, played an important role in attracting millions throughout the year.
The data suggests that more than 253,500 of these visitors hailed from the United States, choosing Buenos Aires for reasons that mixed business and leisure and with more than half opting to stay in the city’s hotels. Top accommodations choices were luxury four- and five-star properties, a category that Buenos Aires offers a broad range of options and saw a 9% annual increase in nights by U.S. travelers.
Looking to 2019, the city will potentially receive about 430,000 international tourists more per year than in 2016 due to an increase in air connectivity that kicked off in late 2017 with the launch of United Airline’s daily nonstop flight from Newark. In 2018, additional routes from Los Angeles and Zurich began, bringing approximately 38,700 more tourists per year. The new American Airlines route from L.A. will help connect the United States’ west coast with Buenos Aires, a region that boasts high purchasing power and represents an important gateway for the Asian market.
Buenos Aires’ government has pledged to support this growth and spur expanded hotel options by way of a new bill that would offer tax incentives to the city’s hospitality industry. Announced August 2018, the bill will benefit hoteliers who build new properties or undertake substantial renovations or expansions to current hotels.
Among the grand-scale events that will attract globe trotters this year to Buenos Aires include: arteBA, the largest contemporary art fair in Latin America, and Semana del Arte, in partnership with Art Basel happening in April; Caminos y Sabores Festival, showcasing the country’s cultural and culinary scene taking place in July; the Tango Festival and World Cup in August; and the 126th Argentine Open Polo Championship happening from November to December.