The event was headed by the President of the Republic Luis Lacalle Pou, accompanied by the Minister of Tourism, Tabaré Viera; the Undersecretary of Tourism, Remo Monzeglio; the General Director of the Secretariat, Ignacio Curbelo; the National Director of Tourism, Roque Baudean; the Mayor of Rocha, Alejo Umpierrez; and the mayor of La Paloma, Sergio Muñiz.
In addition, other authorities of the national government were present, the Mayor of Maldonado, Enrique Antia, Directors of tourism, representatives of chambers and private associations, tour operators, national and foreign press.
In this context, Travel2latam spoke with Tabaré Viera about this launch and the most relevant news for the sector.
What are your feelings about a celebration as important as this one?
First of all, thank you very much for really being there. Today is a very special day, we are launching in a great party together with the departmental governments of Uruguay and the municipalities, but above all with the tour operators what is going to be the next season of all the offer of Uruguay and well through you from the press sharing it with the entire region. Uruguay has worked a lot, for Uruguay tourism is fundamental as you know and especially inbound tourism. We are doing well, it is growing, the figures indicate continued growth after the pandemic after the opening of borders, and in that sense what is coming is auspicious. We continue to bet heavily on our main market, which is our Argentine brothers, because even with the difficulties that the exchange rate difference that today imposes significant price differences on us, they continue to be the main market, because we compete above all at this time of year for the quality of the offer, and the diversity of that tourist offer. We are also waiting for many Chileans and Brazilians, and we have indications that it is going to be a good season. Let's hope that this is confirmed, no one has a crystal ball, but we are open to receive them all.
It is a very diverse country with an incredible offer for the summer, so which destinations do you think are going to take off above what they used to have in previous seasons?
I believe that the coast continues to be a consolidated offer but that it is growing, the oceanic coast like here La Paloma and the entire department of Rocha, Maldonado, but coastal destinations are also growing a lot, such as Montevideo itself and Canelones, and also Colonia , which adds the great communication it has with Buenos Aires and with all of Argentina, and not only Colonia del Sacramento has been expanding more and more but the coast has managed to become deseasonalized, the hot springs which were basically a mid-season winter offering, and Today in the summer it has a very good occupation, and today Uruguay has developed the nature offer with its rivers, its streams, with biodiversity, bird watching particularly attracts many people, also mining tourism in the north of the country; the Gold Route, the amethysts and it is truly extraordinary plus a special gastronomy. Event tourism has grown a lot in shows, shows, events in general, and cruise tourism, which has been growing last year, last period has had an extraordinary record with 320,000 tourists and in 2024 the season will expand until the end April, that is to say that there are 6 months with more than 240 ships, we will see how much they end up calling, but there will be a growth of more than 10%.