With the summer solstice exactly four months away and the prospect of fewer Argentines coming ashore, Uruguay is putting on the tourism equivalent of a full court press in major markets around Brazil.
The campaign kicked off this month in the southern city of Curitiba at a private country club where hundreds of high net worth Brazilians were wined, dined and showered with stacks of full-color catalogues showcasing the natural beauty and nightlife of Punta del Este and the surrounding beaches of Maldonado and Rocha.
Fortunately for Uruguay, it’s not a tough sell. The throng of wealthy Brazilians in Punta grows every year during the peak summer months of January and February. Of the over 3 million tourists that traveled to Uruguay last year, 420,000 or 14% came from Brazil compared to 58% or 1.7 million from Argentina. With the aggressive outreach, Uruguay hopes to double the number of inbound Brazilian tourists this summer and offset the diminished inflow from currency-controlled Argentina.
Based on tourism data for the first half of 2012, Uruguay is on pace to break last year’s 3 million milestone. In the first six months of this year, Uruguay welcomed 1.58 million visitors, and the number one destination was Punta del Este (410,863 tourists) followed by Montevideo (387,524) and the Litoral Termal region of Salto/Paysandu (225,667). (Full Story in Spanish)
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