Argentina is expecting 490.000 cruise visitors this season and is targeting a million visitors in the following years, and to promote this policy it has announced a drastic cut in port fees and costs, with special emphasis on those vessels which are over 300 meters long.
The announcement was done by Transport minister Guillermo Dietrich this week at the Benito Quinquela Martín cruise terminal in the port of Buenos Aires with the purpose of promoting the arrival of larger cruise vessels and in response to the repeated claims from cruise companies complaining about costs, compared to other ports.
The special promotion will be implemented in the 2018/19 season, extensive to 2019/20 and includes 100% bonus for vessels 315 meters and longer, on ship fees, landing fees, scanner use and security charges. Furthermore all cruise vessels will be benefitted with a one US dollar reduction on the four dollars per passenger tax.
According to the cruise companies and operators this should represent a 20% reduction in costs for a vessel of 4.000 passengers operating in the Buenos Aires port.
However Resolution 153 from the Administration of Ports in association with the State (ADG), in article 4 states that once the current bonuses and benefits expire, results will be analyzed and based on these the Cruise Terminal project will be assessed. This means that if these promotions effective until 2019/2020 season, have been successful they could be extended.
Our target is a million cruise visitors arriving in Argentina, this is the challenge which president Macri established. Each cruise vessel means tourists that purchase local goods and services, multiplying growth opportunities for our economy, said minister Dietrich.
He revealed that 490.000 cruise visitors are expected in Argentina this season compared to 430.000 in 2016/17, and in 2018/19 an increase of 15% is forecasted because of the larger vessels of the cruise industry. Figures refer to arrivals in Buenos Aires, Puerto Madryn and Ushuaia. Buenos Aires only is expecting 101 calls and 330.00 visitors, up 15% from the previous season.
Apparently cruise operators praised the initiative and anticipated that next season they will be arriving with larger vessels: MSC will call with the MSC Fantasy, 4.000 pax and 330 meters long (instead of MSC Musica), while Royal Caribbean will turn up with Celebrity Eclipse, which is 315 meters long, replacing Celebrity Infinity.