Due to the exchange difference, Argentina was the preferred destination for Uruguayans on winter vacations

MONTEVIDEO.- Some Uruguayans usually choose the july vacation to be able to travel and disconnect from the daily routine. The heat plays a key factor when choosing the family destination in those two winter weeks, placing Europe, Brazil Y Caribbean as the preferred destinations. This year the flow of passengers increased considerably, but the numbers prior to the start of the pandemic have not yet been reached due to the COVID-19.

as he knew The countryin the main tourist agencies sales of international flight tickets they are still 40% below 2019 due to lack of flight connectivity and not having full passenger capacity.

General Cesarea L. Berisso International Airport, Montevideo, Uruguay

Charles PeraPresident of the Uruguayan Association of Travel Agencies (I dared), told El País that The “vedette” destination in these vacations was Argentina, since it had approximately 180,00 Uruguayan tourists during the July vacations. According to Pear, the exchange difference with Argentina meant a good opportunity for Uruguayans who chose to book travel packages.

“There was packs at $99, counting on him boat ticket and one night accommodation, for instance. There were also more sophisticated offers -between US$190 and US$240- that included a direct ship from port to port and three nights of accommodation”, assured the president of Audavi.

Federico CabreraManager of Operations and Experience of Airports Uruguay, said that this year the passenger traffic was approximately 105,000 Uruguayans in the framework of the July holidays.

According to data from the National direction of Migrationin the first week of the winter holidays a total of 87,539 Uruguayans left the country. Foreigners also decided to leave Uruguay on that date, since 14,519 Argentines and 4,300 Brazilian residents chose to spend their vacations in other destinations. Consequently, a total of 110,643 passengers chose to travel to foreign destinations on the days mentioned.

The vast majority decided use the land route to leave the countrymoving across the border bridge Paysanduthrough Colonia by boat or also from Salto and Fray Bentos. The border with Brazil (Chuy, Río Branco and Rivera) also presented movement.

Uruguayan tourists via Buquebús arrive in the city of Buenos Aires
Uruguayan tourists via Buquebús arrive in the city of Buenos AiresSilvana Colombo – THE NATION

Compared to 2021, the flow of passengers by air increased considerablysince last year only 5000 people traveled in the two weeks of vacation. “Today the situation is very different. In July 2021 the borders were still closed, so connectivity was even more reducedCabrera said.

Thanks to the increase in connectivity compared to last year, the Carrasco Airport had flights from Montevideo with direct destinations to Buenos Aires, Bogotá, Lima, Porto Alegre, San Pablo, Asunción, Santiago de Chile, Panama, Miami and Madrid.

Also, are approaching pre-pandemic numberssince in July 2019 almost 170,000 passengers were registered. “Currently the supply of flights is in recovery. This explains why the volume of passengers continues below pre-pandemic levels, it is a phenomenon that other countries in the region are experiencing,” admitted Cabrera.

Pera affirmed that the air availability that existed for the “hot destinations” (Europe, the Caribbean and Brazil) was filled well in advance. Camillus Popecommercial manager of Jetmar Viajes, told The country that -due to the great demand- put together several packages destined for Brazil, the Caribbean and USA. The price of said vacation offer was around US$1,000 and US$2,500, respectively.

In turn, Cabrera said that the current health situation in the country was key for Uruguayans to choose to travel again. “Today, more than 80% of the population is vaccinated, which gives passengers more peace of mind when traveling. In addition, both the airport and the airlines have well-defined health protocols, guaranteeing a safe trip,” he said.

Although passengers were not lacking, Pera commented that the costs of flights to Europe increased to prices “that we had not seen for a long time”. “Last year a plane ticket to Europe was between US$900 and US$1,100, this year it was US$1,800 and up to US$2,200 approximately”, he exemplified.

Two people say goodbye with a hug at Carrasco Airport, Uruguay
Two people say goodbye with a hug at Carrasco Airport, UruguayFernando Ponzeto

Due to this, the president of Audavi recommends passengers to be more organized and astute when buying a travel package.

“Consumers are going to have to change their purchasing attitude, doing it earlier. Otherwise, the rates you are going to pay are much higher or in the worst case you are not going to get availability, ”he assured.

The Pope stated that many of the Uruguayans who decided not to travel last year – due to the conditions, uncertainty and fear generated by covid-19 – and who wanted to do so this year, they found themselves with a large increase in prices caused by the limited supply of flights.

Pear assured that the war between Russia and Ukraine did not affect Uruguayan tourists who decided to travel to Europe, but it did mean a difficulty to get accommodationsince European tourists who usually go to the Eastern European area, this year traveled to Western Europe. “Destinations such as Madrid, Lisbon, Paris and London suffered great demand in terms of hotels this year, which is why tour operators -in some cases- have encountered difficulties in getting their clients to stay,” Pera explained.

For his part, Cabrera pointed out that international conflicts “undoubtedly have an impact on the world travel and tourism sector.”

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