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Argentina wooing "strategic" Chinese travel market to boost tourism

03/16/2021| 4:28:52 PM|

In order to draw more Chinese travelers, Argentina will need to meet the challenge of improving connectivity.

Argentina is eagerly awaiting the arrival of Chinese travelers to boost tourism in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Argentina's Minister of Tourism and Sports Matias Lammens told Xinhua recently.

Calling China "the world's leading source of tourists," Lammens said he had recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the Chinese travel agency Trip.com Group to strengthen tourism between the two countries in the post-pandemic era.

"Getting to work in a market that is strategic for us, as the Chinese one is, is a very important step for Argentina's tourism, for Argentina's economy, and also for strengthening the relationship between the two countries," said the minister.

While most Chinese people probably identify Argentina with "tango and soccer," the country offers much more to explore, including "several wonders of the world, excellent gastronomy and significant cultural sites, and ... at a very reasonable price," said Lammens, adding that among Argentina's most renowned natural wonders are Iguazu Falls (northeast), the Perito Moreno Glacier (southwest), and the Antarctic region.

"We are convinced that it (Argentina) will be one of the leading countries in terms of inbound tourism, not only in the region, where it already is, but around the world," Lammens said.

Tourism accounts for nearly 10% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) and employs more than 1 million people, making it a priority economic sector.

However, in order to draw more Chinese travelers, Argentina will need to meet the challenge of improving connectivity, since currently most Chinese visitors come via the United States, noted the minister.

"We are working on a flight that can come directly through Asia," said Lammens. 

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