Exactly two months ago we shared the news that Uruguay was on pace to top 3 million tourists this year. Well, yesterday was the day, and you know it’s a big deal when the president of the country and the national media are involved.
Part reality TV, part game show, part much-deserved national celebration, the well choreographed ceremony took place yesterday at the Port of Montevideo. As the morning Buquebus from Buenos Aires was arriving, onlookers, invited guests and TV crews began to emerge. The unsuspecting family from Argentina then disembarked and proceeded to the family car which traveled aboard the same Buquebus.
When the North American husband, his Argentine wife, their four daughters and the family Labrador reached their SUV, they were greeted by a smiling President Mujica, the Minister of Tourism Hector Lescano, a backdrop declaring “Welcome to More Than 3,000,000 Tourists,” and a shower of confetti and flash bulbs. “You could not have chosen a better 3 millionth visitor, because we love Uruguay,” the wife told Pepe Mujica.
Minister Lescano put the 3 million milestone in perspective for a country that has seen a phenomenal rise in tourism growth over the past half century. “3 million tourists means a ratio of almost one Uruguay citizen per tourist, and we thought this was worth celebrating.” And the future only gets brighter. According to El Pais, the World Tourism Organization is forecasting an explosion of inbound tourism for Southern Cone countries like Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay in the coming years. (Full Story in Spanish)
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