After several seasons of negative growth, 2017/18 looks to be the turning point, with 165 calls, up 15, and 300.000 visitors in Uruguay, (Montevideo and Punta del Este) anticipated Tourism minister Liliam Kechichian during the symbolic launching of the season in Montevideo.
The 2016/17 cruise season officially begins this week in Uruguay with the arrival of MS Zaandam and Insignia. Zandam belonging to Holland America Line with capacity for 1.432 passengers usually calls several times in Montevideo during the season.
Uruguay is expecting some 150 cruise calls this coming season 2016/17 which begins next month and represents some 300.000 visitors, according to Tourism minister Liliam Kechichian who nevertheless admitted that growth prospects are somehow behind schedule because of the high costs of reaching and operating in the port of Buenos Aires.
The Uruguayan government confirmed on Monday a raft of measures to attract Argentine tourists and compensate the restrictions in Argentina to purchase foreign currency (dollar-clamp) and the 15% retention fund for credit or debit cards operations outside the country.
Uruguay needs “new markets and new partners” and must try to diversify trade with the largest possible number of agreements to make Mercosur more flexible and anticipate the current process in Argentina, said President Jose Mujica.
As “highly positive” was described the 2011/12 cruise season by Uruguay’s Deputy Tourism minister Lilian Kechichian during the ceremony in the port of Montevideo to receive the last vessel of the season.
Uruguay will attend the SeaTrade fair in Miami, the greatest event of the cruise industry scheduled for next March 12/15 at the Miami Convention Centre.
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved a loan for 5 million dollars to promote tourism in six Uruguayan departments with the aim of boosting foreign exchange earnings, income, and employment.
Uruguay expects a record cruise season beginning November with over 230 calls split between Montevideo and Punta del Este, 80 miles to the east on the Atlantic coast line, according to Deputy Tourism minister Lilian Kechichián.