Newly published findings from the World Economic Forum identify key action areas Argentina can pursue to enhance its tourism economy. While Argentina is a top South American tourist destination, ranking third in the region, it has opportunities to really thrive through advancing some key strategies. These include cultivating nation branding with tourism assets at its core, improving travel infrastructure, increasing digital integration and ICT infrastructure, and leveraging its natural and cultural heritage to attract tourism.
Argentina’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness study, finds particular opportunity for Argentina to develop its natural tourism sector. In 2018, the country ranked in the global top 10 of World Heritage natural sites of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and in the top 20 for the number of known species. Despite its high natural tourism ranking, it only ranks 50th in tourism competitiveness globally, according to the 2019 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report from the World Economic Forum. This country analysis offers recommendations on how Argentina can unlock this under developed sector.
Argentina can leverage its relatively high-scoring natural resources to enhance its tourism. Global trends towards sustainable tourism options present an enormous opportunity for Argentina to design a holistic tourism offering that appeals to this growing market.
“If Argentina can demonstrate care for and sustainable development of
its natural and cultural wonders, it could see a rise in visitor numbers and
spend. This should be balanced by managing carrying capacity, so that an
increase in travellers does not have a negative effect on the environment and
the conservation of heritage assets.” said Lauren Uppink, Head of Aviation,
Travel and Tourism Industries at the World Economic Forum. A special focus on
policies and business practices that preserve environmental sustainability
would signal to the international community that Argentina is determined to
preserve its natural resources. This would entice a steady flow of loyal
tourists searching for experiences in extraordinary locations.”
The report highlights other recommendations for enhancing Argentina’s tourism including:
Advancing digital integration and digital strategy:
Underlying ICT infrastructure and broad ICT adoption are imperative for growth of the travel and tourism sector. They not only serve to increase tourism receipts, but also allow a detailed understanding of travellers’ needs to a degree never seen before, providing enhanced segmented marketing opportunities.
Improving Argentina’s ICT can enable the improvement and tailoring of traveller experiences while saving costs for both businesses and travellers through better management of transactions and intermediary practices.
Developing destination branding and inclusive policy-making:
To improve its tourism, Argentina must define and promote its top tourism draws. Argentina’s brand should be guided by national values, cultural heritage and its rich nature in discovering its unique proposition. The brand positioning for travel and tourism is firmly linked to the international brand of Argentina as a country, underlining why alignment between the travel and tourism body and other governmental organizations is necessary.
For city destinations, Buenos Aires, like many other cities around the world, may not be giving enough weight to travel and tourism as a core subject of its urban development. Argentina should lean into growing interest in city specific tourism as a key component of its national tourism brand.
Travellers to Argentina already benefit from tourism infrastructure that is above average for South America. Between 2015 and 2019, Argentina saw an increase in national air routes from 92 to 139 and international routes jumped from 91 to 153.
Despite its improvement in airport infrastructure, Argentina’s ground infrastructure is relatively poor which hurts its tourism competitiveness. Improving ground infrastructure throughout the country will improve its appeal to tourists who are looking for greater ease of access once in the country.
“Infrastructure is a core pillar in growing the travel and tourism industry” said Martin Eurnekian, CEO of Corporacion America Airports and President of Aeropuertos Argentina 2000. Better airports are crucial to provide safer services and enhance users’ experiences. Our focus is on fostering tourism in the country and the commercial aviation sector. This sector should generate jobs and develop so that it may contribute to our country’s growth. The challenge is to articulate the efforts and the interests of the different stakeholders in the industry, from both the public and the private sector, to attain sustainable development in our business.”
The travel and tourism industry is a proven engine of economic growth. These interventions can help Argentina improve its travel competitiveness in the region and globally. Inclusive and sustainably policymaking is critical for a country’s long-term tourism competitiveness.