Cruise passengers main complaint in Uruguay: prices; the best, the people
High prices was the main disapproval from cruise passengers visiting Uruguay this last summer 2011/12 despite the fact the number of calls was up 31% and expenditure 57% according to the final balance of the cruise season elaborated by the Ministry of Tourism.
This last season 225 cruise vessels called in Montevideo and Punta del Este, the first time this has happened since the 2007/08 season. In 2010/2011 the number of calls was 171. Likewise this last season more vessels called in Montevideo than in Punta del Este, 119 to 106.
The 225 vessels transported 522.784 passengers of which 353.727 went ashore, equivalent to 67.7%, of which most did so in the resort of Punta del Este, 72.6% compared to Montevideo, 62.3%. A majority of passengers were Brazilian, 44%, followed by Argentines, 35.8%, Americans 8.1% and 7% Europeans. Most of passengers belonged to the 30/64 age group (67.6% or 239.046 pax) and a majority of women, 143.229.
“This is not uncommon since women tend to travel with a group of friends and men with their wives” according to the report from the Ministry of Tourism Research and Statistics Office. The stats are based on 1.560 interviews in 39 cruise vessels in Montevideo and 2.040 interviews in 51 vessels in Punta del Este.
According to the report cruise visitors spent this last season 20.8 million dollars which is 57% higher than the previous 2010/11 season. Of that sum, 65.4% was shopping, 22.2% food; 7% tours and 2% transport. Per capita expenditure was calculated at 59 dollars.
When asked about what they didn’t like of their ashore experiences both in Montevideo and Punta del Este a majority said “nothing special” although a significant percentage complained about prices and some of the services offered in Montevideo, according to the poll used to elaborate the stats.
Another issue of disenchantment particularly in Montevideo was that the city is dirty and the lack of hygiene.
As to what most satisfied the cruise visitors, in Montevideo, 25.6% said “the people, their kindness and service”, followed by 17.2% impressed by the “architecture, buildings and monuments” and another 15.8% said “all was very pleasant and satisfactory for the eye”.
As to Punta del Este, 23% replied “the beaches, the sea promenade and the coast line”; another 22% were satisfied with the whole package and 19% underscored “the people, kindness and service”.
The stats also record crime complaints of which 30 incidents were reported to the Tourism police, which is considered a very low number given the number of passengers that came ashore in Montevideo, 154.976. Most of the crimes involved snatching cameras or similar electronic equipment. Only 0.6% (955) of interviews reported “robbery and lack of security” as their main complaint.
Actually the Tourism police in Montevideo inform the cruise companies where officers will be on custody in the port area when passengers come ashore for the day and if a group wishes to visit some other place they normally can be escorted if requested.
Tourism ministry stats also indicate that between October and April there were more crime incidents reported by tourists at Montevideo hotels than from the cruise vessels: 300.