Tourism is bouncing back to Buenos Aires after the pandemic, with 1.5 million foreign visitors arriving in 2022, according to a report by the Buenos Aires City government.
The sector’s revival represents an important source of income, and while classic tourist spots such as Defensa’s classic Sunday street fair are back in full swing, indicators such as air traffic suggest the Argentine capital has a way to go before recovering its pre-pandemic tourism levels.
Nearly a quarter of arrivals (24.5%) were from Brazil, followed by Argentina’s other neighbors Uruguay (19%) and Chile ( just over 10%). The United States (9%) topped the list for countries outside Latin America.
Tourists stay for an average of six nights and staying mainly (77%) in hotels, the report found. Visitors say they enjoy the city’s museums and cultural scene (84%), its restaurants and gastronomy (64%), and its bars and nightlife (37%).
Within the city, the most popular tourist destinations are Palermo and the area around San Telmo market.
Tourism brought the city an estimated 1.2 billion dollars, according to the report, with each tourist spending an average of US$776 during their stay. However, statistics from the Asociación de Transporte Aéreo de América Latina y el Caribe (ALTA) showed that Argentina’s current air traffic levels are just 78% of 2019 (pre-pandemic) levels.
Buenos Aires Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta said that tourism was “one of our main growth engines, with the capacity to generate quality jobs and increase our country’s income”, highlighting its benefits for the gastronomy, transport and cultural sectors.
“We have to keep working to promote all the provinces, since each one of them has great attractions to offer: we’re a country with great diversity of landscapes and cultures that surprises any visitor,” he added. Just two in 10 tourists said that they also went to other parts of the country.