As part of World Tourism Day, a virtual symposium dedicated to the development of rural tourism was held. Where the Minister of Tourism and Sports of the Nation, Matías Lammens, participated, an event, which on this occasion had the mercosur member countries as joint hosts. In this context, the Minister highlighted the measures taken by the President of the Nation, Alberto Fernández, who tripled the budget allocated to the Ministry, to support companies and workers in the sector, which accounts for 9% of Gross Domestic Product and 7% of national employment. Among the measures that were carried out was the implementation of the previous plan, which will reward tourists who buy services to travel around the country in advance in 2021, with a bonus of 50% of their expenses, “an innovative proposal, different from traditional subsidies, and that will have a positive impact on the revival of regional economies”.
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili praised Argentina’s initiative, and said it could be considered an example to other nations, and confirmed the agency’s support in its charge to support the measure. “It has never been a better time to recognize the potential of tourism in transforming rural communities around the world and supporting them” and argued that “today we are committed to transforming this potential into reality.” In addition, in order to shore up the sector, the Congress of the Nation passed on September 2 the law on the productive support and reactivation of national tourism activity. It raises options for consumers who contracted tourist services prior to the imposition of the pandemic and which cannot therefore be made. It consists of 3 options that aims to give a solution to the affected tourists:
The rescheduling of the contracted services, respecting the seasonality, quality and agreed values, within a period of 12 months after the lifting of the insulation.
The delivery of service vouchers to be used for up to 12 months also after the cessation of restriction measures.
The refund of the amount paid for the contracted services by paying up to 6 installments.
Faced with the new global tourism scene, Lammens stated that “rural and nature tourism is a great opportunity for the region, and that few regions of the world have to offer the natural diversity we have in Mercosur.” That is why with this package of measures, it will seek to resume the trust of users and facilitate the way of travel once the fight against the coronavirus allows it.