One of South The united states’s top summer destinations will remain shut to foreign tourists this summer. Uruguay, home to luxury beach resort Punta del Este, will retain international borders closed this summer, President Luis Lacalle Pou said late Thursday. The country, which boasts the lowest Covid infection and mortality rates in South The united states, will opt to give protection to its public health gains over the economy as Covid-19 rages in neighboring Argentina and Brazil. Uruguay has recorded just 2,701 virus cases and 53 deaths. “It’s the first time in history the country will have a summer season with its international borders closed,” Tourism Minister German Cardoso told reporters Friday. The government will announce incentives next week to foment domestic tourism, he said.
The decision will intent foregoing a remarkable influx of cash for an economy expected to contract 4.2% this year. Uruguay’s tourism industry, which depends heavily on the summer season in the Southern Hemisphere between December and February, accounted for 7% of GDP in 2019, according to government data. Approximately 3.2 million visitors entered the country from in a foreign country final year, with 69% of that from Argentina and Brazil. Tourists spent almost $1.8 billion in 2019. Uruguay’s decision to retain non-resident tourists in a foreign country might also widen its balance-of-payments hole and put pressure on the peso, according to TPCG strategist Victoria Faynbloch. The peso, which has missing 12.5% against the United States dollar this year, closed nearly unchanged at 42.66 per dollar on Friday. Wealthy Argentines in specific have flocked to Punta del Este for decades and own a large number of property dotting the coastline.
To make certain, even supposing borders were opened, the economic crisis hitting Argentina and the slump in the Brazilian real likely would have kept most middle-income visitors in their home countries besides. Uruguay is a pricey destination because its currency is heavily overvalued as opposed to its neighbors, says Ignacio Munyo, executive director at native think tank Ceres. That leaves Uruguay’s struggling hotels and restaurants hoping that the 2.2 million Uruguayans who spent $1.2 billion on international go back and forth final year, will opt to vacation at home instead of risking a brush with Covid in Europe or North The united states. The kind of 500,000 Uruguayan expatriates who visit Uruguay once a year could be another band-aid. Citizens and foreigners with Uruguayan residency can still enter the country. Under normal circumstances, many Uruguayans would also be crossing borders to spend their summer vacations in Argentina and Brazil where their money goes a lot further, Munyo said. “The price of closed borders is compensated in part by domestic tourism,” he said. “It’s going to be one of the crucial best domestic tourism seasons in a very long time.”
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)
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