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.
According to Minister Lilian Kechichian this summer the number of calls in Montevideo has been confirmed at 97 and another 54 in Punta del Este, the main Atlantic seaside, which is not encouraging compared to other seasons and an expected growth tendency of the industry worldwide.
However Kechichian who last week hosted a regional cruise industry conference in Punta del Este admitted that even when this will be a flat season, prospects for 2017/18 are very positive since the Argentine authorities have agreed to a considerable reduction in Buenos Aires port fees, which have become the main cost obstacle for regional tours.
These have only recently been announced and the industry usually works with one, two and even three season reservation advances.
In effect the several companies that have abandoned the Brazil/Uruguay/Argentina tours have moved to other areas of the world and it won't be easy to bring them back, but we are working on that, revealed Kechichian.
With the purpose of recovering the cruise business Argentina's ministry of Tourism Guillermo Dietrich and the port of Buenos Aires authority Gonzalo Mórtola have anticipated some of the lower fees to be charged in the future. Landing fee of US$ 14 will be applied for the whole circuit and not for each port as currently and in off season it has been cut to half.
In 2015 when the 2014/15 season the government of president Cristina Fernandez unexpectedly and with no previous warning increased the fee from US$10 to US$14, and for the landing in each Argentine port. It was also agreed to work jointly with the private sector to promote the industry, the port of Buenos Aires and Argentina.
Likewise to increase the number of visitors and landings those companies that bring more than 350.000 passengers per season will have a special rate discount per 10.000 pax.
We're improving conditions for the cruise industry which in these last years was exposed to negative decisions, limitations and obstructions. We have the opportunity and a huge responsibility of helping both the tourism and transport industry, so closely linked and with the chance of creating jobs, said minister Dietrich
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Kechichian should try stating the truth of the matter as to why this dramatic fall in ship numbers has come about.Nov 03rd, 2016 - 05:57 pm 0
Uruguay, in the form of both PdelE and MVD have jacked the landing fees up dramatically in the last two seasons.
PdelE also tried blackmailing the operators to use the local boat death traps for 'landing' tourists onto the port so they could go shopping and be royally fleeced by the shops high prices, again, a result of stupidly high local taxes imposed by Maldonado Intendencia..
Argentina is not alone in having idiotic ministers for tourism, but Uruguay wins hands down with Kechichian. This idiot is the reason that summer time in Uruguay is now completely out of step with the rest of the continent: she claims that it helps tourism NOT to 'spring forward'. We now have sunrise about 05.00hrs and sunset (dark beyond belief) at 19.30.
I bet the torists just love having breakfast at 05.30 in order to get a full day in!
The Broad Fraud, a government beyond a joke.