A favorable exchange rate and a new government incentive are driving travel investment in Buenos Aires. Gonzalo Robredo, president of Travel Buenos Aires, stopped by our New York offices recently to fill us in on the latest.
“The exchange rate is favorable right now, so travelers from the U.S. can get a better value for their dollar,” Robredo says, noting that the government has also waived the 21 percent VAT (value-added tax) for foreigners.
The city’s government has also instituted a new law with tax incentives to encourage hotel development, which the government says has the potential to remodel more than 70 hotels and generate 2,000 direct jobs and more than 6,000 indirect jobs. That follows a strong 2018 for the hotel sector, when hotels in Buenos Aires saw a 59.4 percent occupancy rate, the highest in the city since 2011. Just this week, Marriott announced plans to open a new W Hotel in Buenos Aires in 2024 – the first W Hotel in Argentina and the third in South America.
Culturally, the city has also been drawing attention, particularly for its culinary scene.
“Buenos Aires is absorbing the best of Latin American culture,” Robredo says of the mix of cuisine on offer in the city, which includes chefs from Peru, Chile, Colombia and Venezuela. “There’s no other city in the world where you can get the best of Latin American food all in one place.”
Robredo also says that there are a number of good spots to grab Jewish – Argentinian food, thanks to the city’s large Jewish community, as well as a variety of new craft breweries and speakeasies. Many of the latter offer cocktails infused with mate – a traditional beverage that is like tea, but stronger.
Air travel, too, has seen a number of recent developments. This past December American Airlines launched the first nonstop flight from LAX, which runs three times weekly. In October 2017, United Airlines began operating a year-round, daily nonstop service out of Newark.
Finally, the city has launched a new BA Planner app for travelers. The new online tool allows travelers to see activities happening around the city in real time and add them to a calendar, which they can then email to themselves.