In this Argentina in crisis, you travel the same. But within the country. It is seen in every extra-long weekend and felt strong in the last Previaje, the program that returns in the form of credit part of what is spent on local tourism.
Days before a new XL mini break, on Thursday 25 and Friday 26, the holidays of the May Revolution, a question arises that often invalidates those "escaped desires".
If domestic tourism is chosen because our greenback is almost enough for a single dollar, and if that is promoted by the Government (by force of taxes to prevent the outflow of foreign currency and with this reimbursement program for going to local destinations), why do we have to pay so expensive hotels here?
In the main destinations in the south and north of the country, rates per night, based on double base, in categories 3, 4 and 5 stars, are almost European values. Yes, as in Madrid, Paris or Rome.
According to official statistics from INDEC, inflation in tourism is above the average price rise in the economy. Prices for "restaurants and hotels" rose 9.9%, compared to 8.4% overall. When comparing April of this year against April of last year, the increase was123%, almost 15 percentage points more than year-on-year inflation (108.8%).
"Argentine hotels look for foreign dollars first. They are priced in dollars. In general, it happens more in hotels run by their owners and in the average 3 stars. In chains it is more difficult to happen (because they compete more with each other and that is favorable for the rate)," Daniel Puddu told Clarín.
He is "The Travel Agent", a tourism influencer on Twitter, with more than 46 thousand followers, and has been managing his agency for 30 years.
"This week I quoted two Argentine couples (he emphasizes the nationality) in the two most expensive hotels in Bariloche, for this long weekend. It was $1,000,000 and $1,500,000 from the accommodation alone. But there was no availability. The good and the best is all full of foreigners," says the agent.
The fare trip in this note is guided by the ranking of the most chosen provinces in Pretrip 4, which coincides with this XL weekend and with that of June 17 to 20. The comparison is based on the prices in force two weeks ago in Booking.com for the mini break now.
In the first place is Salta, which will receive 11.35% of the people who enrolled in the benefits program. On average, the cost per room in a boutique hotel is nearly $37,000. A bed & breakfast goes down to a $27,000 floor. And a centrally located, 3-star hotel starts at $31,000.
Los Cardones Park in Salta, the most chosen destination in Previaje 4. Photo Telam / Archive
"Of course to compare you have to focus on equivalent hotels and always, as happens to me on Twitter, someone will say 'No, on that side it is cheaper here'. We, in addition to what the dollar rose, we have taxes and withholdings. The Qatari dollar. But Argentina's hotel rates have European values. It is that foreign tourism is the one that rules, even if we are Argentines, "says Puddu.
For example, in the same category of 4-star hotel, in Booking you get in Madrid, in June, in an accommodation next to the Gran Vía, a night almost at the same price as in Salta on a long weekend. $ 79,000 here vs. $ 84,000 there (with all taxes included, and remember that Booking charges in official dollar and the rest will be charged later by the card).
What Puddu says, that some small Argentine hotels speculate more with the price and even "block and then release rooms when the Pre-trip passes", is seen in that booking platform. It is more expensive than if you choose a mid-level hotel chain or higher.
Staying in Cataratas, which won second place, has a higher cost per night in the 4-star hotels in Puerto Iguazú: from $ 53,000. If it is 5 stars it already goes from $ 78,000, in the cheapest options.
The average fare difference between all destinations in the national ranking and staying in Paris and Rome, in 4-star hotels with a score of 8 and up, "is also not important," he says.
There is no denying the much higher total cost of a trip to Europe. There is the cost of the tickets, the exchange rate in euros and the taxes that will be applied for meals and purchases abroad with a card.
A hotel in Paris costs just a little more than one in Argentina's top destinations. Photo Reuter / File
"But even if you can ask for the return of the perceptions (of 25% and 45% on account of Earnings and Personal Assets), you may not know later how much what they return will serve you, but you will get almost the same as here that hotel rate abroad, "you may not know later how much you will use what they return to you, " Explains.
The word of the hotels
Why are the rates of our hotels, in high season and long weekends, increasingly moving away from looking national?
"The trend is to make a tourism 'close', in all opportunities, not only in long ends. Demand is high and sustained. In June, without being winter holidays, the Quebrada de Humahuaca is very reserved. In the north and south, with a boom in foreign tourism, as well as Cataratas or Bariloche, which always had that mix of visitors, the component of the rate does not depend on domestic tourism, but on foreign tourism," Gabriela Ferrucci, president of the Association of Tourism Hotels (AHT), told Clarín.
"That's why Córdoba or Termas del Río Hondo, which receive more national visitors, have other values," he adds.
Termas de Río Hondo, a destination that escapes dollarized rates. Photo Archive
Pre-trip programs boost demand for the sector through tourism, although without the application of effective price controls that avoid excessive increases. A maximum rate agreement was signed, with increases of up to 40% in hotel rooms.
Tourists should know that hotels, if they join as providers, must comply with that cap. And that the reimbursement in total credit of the program is up to $ 100,000 (retirees can access a higher credit return, 70%).
"What usually happens to us in periods of high reservation is that rates rise more, of course, because they are governed by supply and demand. As it happens with the price of flights. Hotel chains have a more efficient revenue system, they are fed back into their resources. They have more access to market data that allows them to offer better rates," says Ferrucci.
You have to understand something else. This fourth edition of the Previaje allows travel in May and June, the months that historically have the lowest tourist activity of the year. Anyway, the rate is high.
In Buenos Aires, third in the ranking, hotels have a more affordable rate than in the north or south of the country.
Going to the top, the night in a 5 star starts at almost $ 65,000. But you can find in Palermo 4 star hotels for $ 62,000. Even, for $ 40,000 in Recoleta. The cheapest is in Microcentro, where there are 3 "flirtatious" stars for $ 23,000.
Mendoza (which took 9.91% of the election via Previaje), goes up to more than $ 77,000 a night in a 4 star; A from $ 39,000 in a 3 and if you went by car or rented car, the cabins that can be rented to direct owner do not fall below $ 35,000 a night.
In Bariloche everything goes up more. The night in a 3 star center is achieved from almost $ 39,000 if you book a month in advance before arriving at destination and the same room on the day of entry costs from $ 50,000. From there, prices go up on higher category accommodations.
Cordoba already has "more Argentine" prices. But it depends on where you decide to spend a long weekend.
A good 3 star in Carlos Paz is obtained from $ 30,000 and a 4 star, well central, for $ 34,000. If you are by car, there are options in both categories for half that price, a few kilometers from the center.
The budget changes completely if you choose, for example, Villa General Belgrano. In a 5-star distance, almost 2 kilometers from the beer garden, there is already talk of $ 79,333 for a single night. If you prefer more the wave country apartment within a 3-star resort (which they actually call "villa"), it will be about $ 89,665.
The cabins -which are concentrated outside the center, 2 or 3 kilometers- do not fall below almost $ 41,000 a night. And if you're out of a car, a downtown room can easily fetch $90,000, both in the peak Oktoberfest season and this May holiday.
The Termas de Río Hondo swept this time. From the heat of those waters in Santiago del Estero, they surpassed the cold of Tierra del Fuego, in Ushuaia, which was in ninth place. Also to Jujuy, which was installed in the position No. 10. And the thermal prices surprise.
A double room in a 3-star hotel does not fall below $ 36,000, with breakfast included. A 5 star, with spa and breakfast and lunch, from $ 87,000. A simpler all-inclusive costs from $ 65,000 a night.
Tierra del Fuego goes up to $ 105,588 a night in a 5 star. Two categories down, you get from $ 31,337. In Jujuy a three-star starts at almost $ 21,000.
"The best rates, the most accessible, are achieved by hiring accommodations with time. In Argentina or Europe. Although there is a lot of demand outside the tourist peaks, it is always cheaper not to travel in the times of greatest demand and although people are loyal to Booking, which is fine, and hotels also serve as a showcase, you can connect directly with the website of the hotels and find out prices at different times. Also, look for less popular destinations. The north, which is so required now, just does not have so much hotel offer, "recommends Ferrucci.
What about hotels in travel packages?" Prices are always determined, charged and defined by providers. And they are dynamic for different reasons: the same airplane seat or hotel room can undergo changes depending on availability, load factor, seasonality, type of service, anticipation of purchase, average stay. We have filters enabled on our page to offer the best possible option," Paula Cristi, General Manager of Despegar Argentina and Uruguay, tells Clarín.
The package for Ushuaia this long weekend was $ 382 thousand per person at the close of this note. Included flight, luggage, and hotel with breakfast. Iguazu, $392 thousand.