Interview with Marcelo Costa, Promotion Director – INPROTUR (National Institute of Tourism Promotion, Ministry of Tourism of Argentina)
Argentina has been a long-standing exhibitor at ITB Berlin. According to Marcelo Costa, INPROTUR (National Institute of Tourism Promotion, Ministry of Tourism of Argentina), the 2017 edition was again an excellent opportunity to highlight new aspects of the country. We asked Mr Costa what was different at Argentina’s ITB 2017 booth compared to previous editions…
We totally changed our booth concept compared to previous years. Before we were very much oriented to showing the blue and green of Argentina. This year, we just used wood and fresh colours to highlight our commitment to sustainable tourism in our land. Our 2017 theme was sustainable holidays. And the turn around on our booth has been highly productive. Next year, we will be looking at something totally different again in terms of decoration and theme.
What are the pillars of tourism development in Argentina today?
We identified five pillars to promote our nation on international markets and distinguish us from other countries in the region. The five pillars are the following: 1 – adventure tourism; 2 – MICE; 3 – Luxury Travel; 4 – Wine and Gastronomy and last but not least our fifth pillar is LGBT travel.
At ITB Berlin, what are trade visitors looking at for destination Argentina?
Adventure – soft or more challenging – remains a main topic for ITB Berlin visitors coming to see us at the booth. This is why Patagonia remains a favourite in terms of destinations as the destination combines all the ingredients for adventure travellers, from spectacular landscapes to local cultures as well as exotic fauna and flora. LGBT travel is also very popular among ITB Berlin visitors particularly from Germany as there is an important LGBT population.
Are they some new destinations that are gaining more attention from European travellers?
Besides Patagonia and Buenos Aires, Northwest Argentina is becoming increasingly popular. The province of Salta offers indeed a very different experience for travellers from Europe. It is a dry region with deserts and also the stunning salt flats stretching over 200 km at 3,450 metres altitude. It offers incredible landscapes, a lively local culture and also many boutique resort hotels that Europeans are beginning to discover. Another increasingly attractive destination is the region of Misiones with the Iguazu Falls that we share with Brazil. The Iguazu falls are among the largest and most majestic waterfalls in the world. They are taller than Niagara Falls and nearly twice as wide. The falls and surrounding jungles can be viewed by foot and from observation decks that are ideal for photographing the torrents of water that pour through the Devil’s Throat. Among the activities are fishing with locals as well as the visit of Jesuits church ruins in San Ignacio, a UNESCO World Heritage site. East Argentina indeed remains a very popular destination for Europeans. We also see an emerging interest for Entrerios Province.
BESIDES PATAGONIA AND BUENOS AIRES, NORTHWEST ARGENTINA IS BECOMING INCREASINGLY POPULAR.
You mentioned earlier about LGBT as one of Argentina tourism’s ve pillars. Could you explain why LGBT tourism is so important for Argentina?
We are very proud to be one of the rst countries in Latin America to have totally embraced the idea of promoting diversity tourism. It rst shows our sense of tolerance in the country. It is actually very well accepted by Argentinians who share the idea of equal rights for all. For example, we have the support of 150 Argentinian corporations which are grouped inside of the Argentinian LGBT Chamber of Commerce. We think that we are among the top five most visited countries for LGBT travellers in America and we estimate that between 10 to 12% of all our tourists belong in fact to the LGBT community.