International tourism to South America fell by 48% in 2020 due to the pandemic

Miami, Apr 21 (EFE) .- The arrival of tourists to South American countries fell by 48% in 2020 due to the pandemic and the return to pre-pandemic levels will not arrive until 2022, according to a report by the analysis company GlobalData data.

Peru, Venezuela and Ecuador were the most affected by the decline in tourism, with decreases of 73, 71 and 70%, respectively, and Chile, Argentina and Colombia the least, with decreases of 25, 27 and 30%, respectively.

“Tourism in South America is more fragile than in North America and Europe,” Global Data analysts said to highlight that the factors that negatively influence the influx of tourists to countries in the region, including political instability, corruption and crime, were accentuated in 2020 with the covid-19 pandemic.

GlobalData travel and tourism trends analyst Craig Bradley noted that the industry’s recovery is going to depend heavily on “freedom of movement, infrastructure and the economic cost of travel.”

For Bradley, countries with more geographic diversity, such as Argentina and Chile, seem to perform better than centralized areas of South America, as evidenced by the fact that their setbacks in the level of tourist influx are less than those of those that offer less variety. of landscapes.

With landscapes of deserts, vineyards, beaches, glaciers and mountains and tourist centers built specifically to enjoy them, as well as infrastructures to host cruises, skiing, gastronomic tourism, beach or mountaineering, these countries have an easier time to recover.

In the case of Colombia, the recovery may be due to its ability to attract US tourists with short and cheap flights, says the analysis.

The United States continues to be the main source of tourists to South America, not counting intraregional tourism, and US tourism to Colombia increased 180% between 2009 and 2019.

“As a result, international tourism to Colombia can pave the way for South America’s recovery, reaching levels similar to those of 2019, prior to the pandemic, as early as the end of 2021,” the expert opined.

Bradley highlighted the importance of intraregional tourism for the recovery of South America, but insisted that freedom of movement, infrastructure and the cost of travel are determinants to return to pre-covid-19 levels.

According to a graph that accompanies the GlobalData statement for 2024, international tourism to South America is expected to reach 40 million people, while in 2020 it stood at 15 and 20 million.


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