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With an outstanding promotion segment, a schedule packed with meetings with private and public sector managers, and growing esteem for the leadership management in this reactivation process, Argentina received another recognition that keeps positioning it in the international tourism community. In 2022, it will be the first Guest of Honour Country in the history of Festuris Fair, which has been taking place for more than 30 years in Gramado, south of Brazil.

The announcement was made this weekend at the end of the event in Brazil. Argentina participated through the National Institution for Tourism Promotion (INPROTUR), with a delegation led by the INPROTUR’s Executive Secretary, Ricardo Sosa, the technical team, the destinations of Ushuaia and the City of Buenos Aires, and four inbound tourism companies. Overall, they held several business meetings, press media interviews, gatherings with tour operators, travel agencies, airlines, road transport companies, Brazilian authorities, and representatives of touristic area entities.

The presentation conference took place in the Serra Park Fair Centre in Gramado. Eduardo Zorzanello (Festuris), Lucia Bente (Abav–RS), Rosa Helena Volk (Gramado’s Secretary of Tourism), Ricardo Sosa (Inprotur – Argentina), Marta Rossi (Festuris), and Nestor Tissot (Gramado’s Mayor) participated. Furthermore, in this event, there were more than 8,000 subscribers, 20 international exhibitors, 1,700 brands, and news for the 34th edition: Argentina will be the Event’s first Guest Country, scheduled between November 3rd and 6th of 2022.

During the presentation conference, Ricardo Sosa said, “Being the Guest of Honour Country in 2022 is a great achievement.” He added that Brazil “is the main source of inbound tourism for Argentina. It is a priority market to which we give great importance. TheRio Grande Do Sul State has great potential due to its more than 11 million inhabitants, closeness to Argentina, and economic development. That’s why we are here, together with Argentinian business owners and authorities. We are not only conveying the border reopening process, but also presenting new products, reassuring the importance of natural attractions, keeping on developing the road transport networks, and confirming the ongoing increase of frequencies with several airlines. As for the latter, we will recover the connectivity with Porto Alegre soon.

Sosa expressed his conviction that the true growth will come after getting back the pre-pandemic levels of incoming tourists. “This is the agenda of the Minister of Tourism and Sports, Matías Lammens, and our President’s commitment, Alberto Fernandez. We believe that, with these concrete actions, we are strengthening these goals. The fact that Argentina will be the first Guest of Honour Country in 2022 in the history of the fair is a recognition that must reassure the proactive outlook towards our country.”

He added that being the Guest of Honour Country in the fair “raises Argentina’s visibility, and creates promotion spaces, twinning with similar products, and enhanced contents in a year that aims at Argentina’s tourism full development within a recovery and reactivation context.”

Sosa pointed out, “We are committed to showing the best of Argentina in Festuris 2022. There is a common identity between Gramado and Argentines, and we want to make it stronger. We will for sure collaborate with an even more qualified event. It is an honour to be the first Guest Country of this fair.”

Marta Rossi and Eduardo Zorzanello, Festuris’ organisers, highlighted that “there is nothing fairer than starting by the country which has shown great potential and strength to introduce and promote itself in the main international fairs in this recovery. In addition, we have seen the groundbreaking work done during the pandemic, and they have accompanied us in several editions. The Rio Grande do Sul “mountain range” has always been a visiting place for Argentinians, and we would like to broaden this exchange.”

Zorzanello explained that “choosing a guest country in every edition is not only a tribute, but it also implies the exchange of experiences and joint promotion actions between these two destinations during the year. We are sure that we will do a great job with Argentina. We expect to strengthen both markets and improve the position with a major source in the country and, in turn, with the main source to Argentina.”

The Mendoza Holidays, Brasileiros em Ushuaia, Quality and AMV companies held several meetings with Brazilian companies during the fair. The City of Buenos Aires participated in the Luxury Tourism space, and Ushuaia made public its wide range of touristic products for the whole year. In addition, the Argentinian Consul in Porto Alegre, Jorge Perren, was present on the first day. Furthermore, Sosa met road transport companies, airlines, press media, institutions representatives, mayors of several Brazilian cities, Brazil’s Minister of Tourism, Gilson Machado Neto, tour operators, and travel agencies. He designed Argentina’s participation strategies in several events to be carried out in 2022 in this area of the south of Brazil.

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