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Tourism Growth in Uruguay

All projections for tourism activity in Uruguay for the year 2016 agree that the coming summer season will be better than the last, with some tourist operators even venturing that it will be the best season ever. An economic report published in August by the Centro de Investigaciones Económicas (Cinve) found that the first quarter of 2016 had been the best in the last five years, and that in the first six months the tourism industry had enjoyed its best first semester in fifteen years.

In 2015, Uruguay received nearly three million visitors, achieving a new high with a total of 2,964,841, above the record figures of 2011, according to figures from the Ministry of Tourism (Mintur).

Tourism is thus consolidated as a major economic activity in Uruguay, accounting for more than seven points of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and generating more than 100 thousand jobs. This activity is boosted by the central government, which offers a range of benefits for tourists, including a 10.5 percent refund on accommodation rentals and VAT discounts on restaurants, car rentals, and other tourist services paid with credit cards.

While Argentine tourists are expected to account for more than two million of the increase in visitors in 2016, the number of travelers from Paraguay and Chile is also notable, a factor that is attributed to the good air connectivity between Montevideo, Santiago, and Asunción. At this rate, this South American nation is sure to meet the projected figure of more than three million visitors by year’s end.