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The Buenos Aires bus, which has become very popular among tourists. (Photo: City of Buenos Aires)
Monday, July 30, 2012
Special Reports

Tourism: Argentina Passes Brazil

Uruguay grows most in international tourism arrivals.


Argentina has replaced Brazil as Latin America’s second-most popular destination, according to an Latinvex analysis of data from the World Tourism Organization (WTO).

Meanwhile, Uruguay is the country that posted the strongest growth among the 17 countries analyzed.

All in all, the number of international visitors to Latin America grew by 4.6 percent to 78.3 million.

Mexico remains unchallenged as the king of Latin American tourism. Last year it received 23.4 million international visitors, an increase of 0.5 percent. That’s more than the next five top destinations combined.  Mexico also remains the tenth-leading destination worldwide, WTO data shows.

However, its growth of 0.5 percent was the lowest in Latin America last year, along with Guatemala, which also posted the same increase in arrivals.


Argentina managed to receive 5.7 million international visitors last year, an increase of 6.3 percent. By comparison, neighboring Brazil only grew by 5.3 percent to 5.4 million visitors.

The Dominican Republic remains the fourth-leading destination in Latin America. Last year it received 4.3 million visitors, an increase of 4.4 percent. Danilo Medina, who is scheduled to become president of the country next month, has vowed to boost tourism to ten million arrivals per year.

Uruguay replaced Cuba as the sixth-leading destination in Latin America. It received 2.9 million international visitors last year, an increase of 21.6 percent, which was the highest growth in the region.

Costa Rica remains the top destination in Central America. It received 2.2 million international visitors, an increase of 4.6 percent.

Venezuela has been losing ground in tourism the past decade and today ranks as the second-last tourism destination in Latin America after Paraguay. Last year 551,000 international visitors arrived in Venezuela, an increase of 8.2 percent. Paraguay came right behind, with 524,000 visitors, which marks a 12.6 percent increase.

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