Uruguay is expecting some 200 cruise calls this 2019/20 season, which is 30% higher than in 2018/19, while Montevideo has become an exchange port for incoming and outgoing cruise passengers, given its good services and connectivity, announced Tourism minister Liliam Kechichian during the official launching of the current season.
Of those announced calls, 134 will be in Montevideo and 68 in the Atlantic seaside resort of Punta del Este, totaling some 202. Precisely on the launching ceremony day, the Norwegian flagged Viking Sun with 879 passengers docked in Montevideo, early morning and in the evening left for Puerto Madryn.
Minister Kechichian said that in the previous season, Uruguay received a 4.3% soft increase in the number of calls, split 55% and 45% between Montevideo and Punta del Este 45%. The total number of landing passengers was 256.000, with an estimated impact of US$ 9.6 million for the local economies.
She added that according to ministry satisfaction surveys of cruise travelers landings, what people most liked was the warmth and good spirits of locals in Montevideo, while in Punta del Este they were impacted by the beaches and scenery. A majority percentage of cruise passengers landing in Uruguay were from Brazil.
Cruise tourism besides visitors expenditures and tours they might contract, generates mush activity among those providers servicing the vessels.
This industry has a multiplying impact, mainly because the visitors from out of the region, when satisfied they become ambassadors of the country promoting Uruguay overseas explained Ms Kechichian.
Finally the minister said that Uruguayan ports were chosen as leaders of the region and obtained the World Travel Awards, and Uruguay was also recognized as South America’s Leading Cruise Destination 2019” and “South America's Leading Cruise Port.
She also anticipated that for the 2020/21 cruise season, cruise passengers will have a special fully equipped terminal, which currently houses the Tourism ministry. The ministry is moving a few blocks away to a four story building that once was Lloyd's Bank main offices.