The Minister of Tourism, Tabaré Viera, reported that, according to data from the National Directorate of Migration, more than 460,000 visitors entered the country between December 22, 2022 and January 8, 2023, and that figure exceeds that of the entire summer season 2022. "Since last year there has been a growing trend in incoming tourism, which is consolidated with this excellent start to the season," said the chief.
In dialogue with Presidential Communication, Viera maintained that since the opening of borders, in November 2021, incoming tourism has increased continuously, and reached figures higher than those of the 2019-2020 period, in the last two quarters of 2022.
The hierarch explained that the official records are closed on a quarterly basis and that these primary data were provided by the National Directorate of Migration of the Ministry of the Interior.
In addition, he argued that based on the information collected through tour operators, so far the season shows an occupancy level close to 100%, both in terms of coastal tourism, from Colonia to Chuy, as well as on the coast of the Uruguay River and in different places in the interior, with nature tourism.
He also highlighted that the number of cruise ships that will arrive in Uruguay in summer will be a record for the last 8 years and that domestic tourism has shown a growing trend in recent quarters. The department where internal mobility increased the most was Maldonado, with 17% higher than in 2022, he indicated.
"All the data collected so far shows us an excellent start to the season, even much higher than that of 2019-2020," he remarked.
Viera specified that the Ministry works with the private sector to guarantee and increase the quality of services, the diversity of the offer and the diffusion of the destinations, their attractions and activities.
Regarding Carnival week, he said that a good occupation is expected, since the reservation level is very high for the date, according to what was reported by tour operators. "Carnival is a high point in the summer season and has a great diversity of offers in different places in the interior of the country, such as the Carnival of Rivera, Cerro Largo or Artigas," he concluded.
In another order, Viera highlighted that, since the implementation of the Tourist Pass, in mid-December 2022, 40,000 automatic entries have been registered through toll booths throughout the country.
The instrument was designed jointly between the Ministries of Transportation and Public Works and Tourism, as a consequence of the process of automating tolls on national routes. "The objective is to expedite and computerize the procedure," the minister pointed out.