Buenos Aires will be welcoming international travelers come Nov. 1 when fully vaccinated foreign nationals with a vaccine dating at least 14 days prior to the trip will be welcomed into the city. Travelers will also require a negative PCR test—not older than 72 hours, plus two additional PCR tests will be required on day five and day seven of their trip.
Recommend sat down for a virtual meeting with the head of Visit Buenos Aires, Gonzalo Robledo, who told us that the city will have its own entry protocols. Among those are that travelers will need to be completely vaccinated and there will be no quarantine requirement upon arrival.
“Testing infrastructure and cost will be covered by the city,” Robledo told us when discussing the mandatory retesting on days five and seven of the traveler’s stay. “Test sites will be everywhere, easy and fast to not interrupt tourists.”
Robledo noted that in 2019, Buenos Aires reached its peak in international tourism, welcoming close to three million visitors. The U.S. was among the main markets for incoming travel contributing to about 248,000 tourists.
“It’s important to recover soon even though we know it will take time,” said Robledo. “We expect 50 percent of the volume of tourism from before the pandemic, 2024 for full recovery.”
Now, what can your clients expect when heading to Buenos Aires? Visitors to Buenos Aires will still be required to wear face masks while visiting establishments around the city. Robledo notes that the city is at almost 70 percent of complete vaccination status for residents.
“Masks will be required at hotels, restaurants, museums, etc.,” he said, adding that big music festivals will still be forbidden.
What’s Changed Since the Pandemic
“We are living more on the sidewalks, in the streets, restaurants have new seating,” Robledo told us. “Everyone wants to be outside, and this triggers and facilitates this encounter of the locals and visitors.”
When we asked what new attractions have come about since the lockdown, Robledo immediately turned to food, saying that most of the new attractions are food-related such as “new vegetarian and vegan restaurants opening up, associated with green, open spaces, healthy spaces and healthy food. It bloomed during the pandemic,” he said. Adding that, “the perfect food hub of Latin America is Buenos Aires.”
Robledo also referred to the nightlife of the city, noting that the nightclubs and bars are getting more awards on bar lists for cocktails, and the nightlife is booming. “Everyone wants to go out,” he said. “We are Latin, we’ve been locked down for a year and a half, so the nightlife will be back in the coming months.”
Buenos Aires also offers travelers a wide range of cultural events. “We are now promoting non-typical tourism circuits like the neighborhoods of Villa Crespo and Chacarita.” These neighborhoods offer visitors plenty of art galleries, bars, restaurants, tango events and soccer to enjoy.
“Fashion design has always been an attraction in Buenos Aires,” said Robledo. “We have young fashion designers and interior designers. When you walk around Palermo there is now, due to the activity and people going back to the streets, there’s like a new trend of designers that are really active and creative. Also, the art galleries are offering what they didn’t in the last year and a half. For the last year and a half, artists have also been working and now they have all of that work to show. The art galleries are all communicating their new schedules and art exhibitions in Chacarita, Villa Crespo and Palermo.”
If this has prompted you to start booking clients to Buenos Aires, Robledo says the optimal time to visit the city is between October and December, and then from February to March.
Thinking of whom on your roster you should suggest Buenos Aires to? Well, Robledo says that the ideal traveler is one who is “ready to explore a different city and a different culture. Buenos Aires will show you that we are very passionate, very communicative; we like to interact with visitors. We are intense. You have to be open to its intensity.”
And for those travelers who seek cultural preferences, Robledo says that, “We have everything. What’s unique is interacting with the locals—that’s the main purpose [for travel]. We travel to keep building our identity, it’s an identity-building process; you come back transformed.”
Travel Advisors’ Role in Recovery
When we asked what role the travel advisor community plays as the city starts to welcome back travelers, Robledo said, “I think they’re going to be the key to the recovery. But, they will also want to know what’s going on. Travel advisors are going to be the key for the transfer of confidence that the traveler will need after the pandemic.”
New webinars will be re-launched to help train travel advisors sell Buenos Aires. The schedule will be shared soon.
Visit Buenos Aires has partnered with New York City once again, one of its largest hubs for travel, to help get the word out to travelers that the city is ready to welcome them. They’ve implemented street advertisement campaigns in both cities, as well as assistance with travel advisors.
For more information, visit turismo.buenosaires.gob.ar/en.
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