A postcard from Purmamarca, Jujuy – In this note, stories of projects that seek to rise from the ashes and overcome the crisis in the tourism sector (Shutterstock)
The tourism industry and in particular the hospitality sector are going through an unprecedented crisis. Since March 20 in Argentina, when the Decree of Necessity and Urgency (DNU) that implemented Social, Preventive and Obligatory Isolation (ASPO) came into force, tourism came to a complete and abrupt paralysis: the airlines stopped operating; The same happened with long-distance buses, travel agencies, lodgings and the entire circuit that lives from related activities.
Rodrigo Diaz Puertas is one more example of how much the coronavirus pandemic affected and devastated the tourism sector. In dialogue with Infobae He told his story: “With my family we have a 3-star hotel in San Miguel de Tucumán -Dallas Hotel Tucumán-, a establishment of family tradition with more than 50 years and 3 hotel generations, born in Córdoba and now based in the province, and we offer lodging, with breakfast and cafeteria to the public ”.
« We were drastically affected by COVID from the beginning of the isolation, not being able to accommodate people from March 17 to the present, it is a very distressing and saddening situation, We have many people behind us, suppliers, direct and indirect labor that assist us and we cannot continue working since having the borders closed, no people enter the province, many entered San Miguel before the pandemic to be treated for problems of health and all that was cut off, as well as the trained personnel who came from other provinces to work and throughout the pandemic panorama this does not happen anymore « , added Díaz, and lamented: »All these people before the coronavirus were staying in our hotel and now everything is stopped since the province is armored”.
The Iguazu Falls in Misiones – Local tourism, as it happens in the rest of the world, is seriously affected as a result of the mandatory isolation imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic (Shutterstock)
Rodrigo detailed to this medium that For the moment they do everything possible to survive and include the protocols established by the Government in all areas of the establishment from sanitizing carpets, alcohol gel in the spaces, the breakfast room is assisted so that there is less manipulation of elements: « We have arranged to rent the hotel garages for residents of the area; We also offered the rooms as offices but this option did not prosper since economic and commercial activity is completely paralyzed and companies tend to reduce their expenses; the gastronomic tourism sector is very affected and harmed ”.
« People want to leave, they want to move, companies need to move people, airlines have to get back to work, there are inquiries and questions from our frequent customers but there is a lot of caution due to advertisements; I hope that with the vaccine we can somehow return to the life to which we were accustomed, taking all the necessary sanitary measures for the new normal ”, said Díaz Puertas. « The reality that we have to live in the hotel is very sad, to see a place that is usually characterized by being transit and in which today there is no type of movement. »
Yungas jungle sisters of Tucumán (Shutterstock)
Different is the case of Ammanik, A company of sustainable tourism and « outdoors » created by Rosario Sallaberry Cousté, founder and CEO of the firm, who told Infobae that your project « was born nine years ago with the purpose of offering tours and trips in Argentina away from mass tourism, with minimal environmental impact and with social awareness. Our mission from our beginnings was to offer conscious and authentic tourist experiences, in harmony with nature and responsible with local communities. In fact, ‘Ammanik’ means ‘ñandú’ in the Mocoví voice – one of the original peoples of our country, and also the ñandú represents the Southern Cross in several aboriginal legends. In other words, the name of the brand symbolizes in some way the nature and native cultures that we seek to bring closer to our travelers with the experiences we design, ”he said.
In dialogue with this medium, Rosario shared how they are affected by the pandemic and the coronavirus: “COVID-19 totally affected us because tourism was closed around the world and the country’s external and internal borders are still closed. In fact, Our products are already adapted for a post-pandemic world, because they are designed to get out of mass tourism and minimize the negative impact that tourism activity can generate. In our case, the adaptation work is to work on communication and disseminate the options for sustainable destinations and trips that can be made in Argentina ”.
The new sociocultural trend proposes to know destinations in open spaces. The case of Ammanik, a company that proposes sustainable and outdoor tourism (Ammanik)
Regarding the protocols, he specified: “Providers, hotels and travel agencies in Argentina already have protocols developed by the Ministry of Tourism to work within a post-pandemic health and safety framework. Regarding travel experiences, we are working on publishing more proposals both in Buenos Aires and in the rest of the country on our website and incorporating virtuality into the experiences of foreign travelers. Since it is going to take longer to activate international tourism ”.
« For us, sustainable tourism in Argentina is more necessary than ever. This translates into promoting much more travel to alternative and natural destinations in the country. Beyond the classics and those that always appear in the tourist brochures of Argentina. The challenge today is to focus precisely on those natural destinations that are currently being punished by fires, such as wetlands or clearings in native forests, to mention a few cases. As the well-known phrase says, You cannot value what is not known, nor defend what is not valued and sustainable tourism in this sense is an excellent way to generate environmental and social awareness.Sallaberry analyzed.
Ammanik was born nine years ago with the purpose of offering tours and trips in Argentina away from mass tourism, with minimal environmental impact and with social awareness (@ammanik)
In Argentina, tourism generates 165,000 million pesos and represents 10% of the country’s GDP, according to data from the World Travel & Tourism Council. In addition, it employs more than 1.3 million people, many of whom are in SMEs, according to the Argentine Chamber of Tourism. Globally, the tourism sector is expected to lose about 400 million travelers this year.
That is why many companies seek to « rise from the ashes ». In this context, different companies launched different initiatives to support small and medium enterprises and thus boost the sector.
The phoenix effect is what the beer brand sought for example Crown when launching « Connected Travel”, An initiative that seeks to support national tourism and inspire its consumers to connect with nature. With this objective, the firm reserved 1,200 hotel nights throughout Argentina: 100 packages for 4 people, each for 3 nights, which it will raffle so that its consumers can enjoy it when all this happens.
As a result of the deep crisis in the tourism and hospitality sector, many companies seek to “rise from the ashes”, and adapt to the new demands, discover outdoor destinations (@ammanik)
Thus the project was born, to promote local tourism represented in 41 accommodations: glampings, tree houses, inns, hostels and hotels distributed in 8 Argentine zones: Patagonia, the Atlantic Coast, the NOA, the NEA, the Litoral, Córdoba and the Cuyo region.
But the most moving and inspiring are the stories of each place, witnesses of the times in which we live, behind the effort and passion to sustain their ventures and continue to receive travelers, 9 projects that seek to move forward, despite the crisis:
1. AFT – CHAPADMALAL
Pepe and Pedro, creators of AFT, a hostel for surfers in Chapadmalal, seek to rise from the ashes (AFT)
AFT is the acronym for “Lovers in the afternoon”, the project that Pepe and Pedro put together, which would be complex to define in one way. Is it a hostel? Yes. Is it a production company? AFT is a unique place on the Atlantic Coast. Surfers from all over gather there, and it also promotes a creative community that produces its audiovisual content. More than a physical place, AFT became a lifestyle in community with the beach, the sea and nature. Although there are private rooms, guests often eat together and share experiences. There are yoga and surf classes, boards; of all kinds and forms, art, music, painting, photography, light, drawing, design, clothing, poetry, and for those who do not dare to the waves, the balance board is in the living room of the house. For those who are tired of the city and have a few days off to get away, there is no better option than a good dip in AFT.
2. LELE USUNA – MAR DEL PLATA
The Surf School of Lele Usuna, Argentine champion of the discipline, is located in Mar del Plata (@leleusuna)
Lele started surfing at the age of 6 in Mar del Plata. At 30 he has already toured the world and won two world titles. He set up a school, not only to teach how to tame a board, but to understand the sea in general: depth, currents, winds, etc. He began to intervene in his community and managed to get surfing as a subject in public education.
3. GLEBINIAS HOUSE – MENDOZA
Glebinias House in Chacras de Coria, Mendoza, is owned by the Aristarain family, where no plant was eradicated for the architectural design of the place
Casa Glebinias is a place run by its owners: the Aristarain family. Born in Buenos Aires, but in love with Mendoza for its landscapes, the climate and its people, they decided to settle in Chacras de Coria in the 80s, after a long stay in France. Passionate about gardening, they worked hard and at the end of 2005 they created Casa Glebinias. A place that reflects your personal tastes and ways of life.
4. THE RAMBLAS OF PUERTO MANZANO – VILLA LA ANGOSTURA – NEUQUÉN
Las Ramblas is based on a single belief: « explore extraordinary destinations without sacrificing the comfort of a good hotel » and consider that « true luxury is provided by nature, not buildings »
Martín Suero Rambla is an international photographer and hotelier with more than 22 years of experience as a host. He was a pioneer of the new lodging trend in Patagonia. He created a low-impact boutique inn and a glamping inn, which builds on some futuristic designs to make the most of the generous views of forests, mountains and lake. There you can practice different activities such as walks, bike rides, horseback riding, lake walks and fishing, local cuisine, etc. He also hosts outdoor photography classes. Everything he does is based on a single belief: « explore extraordinary destinations without sacrificing the comfort of a good hotel » and consider that « true luxury is provided by nature, not buildings. »
5. POSADA LA MATILDE – CÓRDOBA
Posada La Matilde, in Córdoba, is a project that brought together three childhood friends, who managed to include it as one of the greenest hotels in the world
This project was born from three childhood friends, Pablo Asef, Luis Varela and Raúl Mare, who, beyond having their professions each, dreamed of doing something together that was special and transcendent. In addition to the 10 rooms, La Matilde offers a restaurant open to the public with a very careful and tasty menu, always with the organic concept and the biodynamic philosophy. The 70-hectare property is certified by Letis and Demeter and is one of the Greenest Hotels in the world. In its construction, the concepts of responsible and bioclimatic architecture were respected. It has a thermal insulation system, water heating by solar radiation, rainwater collection and water recycling for irrigation. Every corner was the work of the hands of regional artisans and artists.
6. LOS HUEMULES – CHUBUT
Santiago Hidalgo, owner of Los Huemules in Chubut, converted more than 6000 hectares into a mountain reserve characterized by its geodesic domes
Santiago Hidalgo, its owner and director, grew up there, and can tell what it is like to share his childhood home with today’s travelers. They converted 6 thousand hectares into a Mountain Reserve. They chose geodesic domes to accommodate visitors because it is the strongest structure to withstand the Patagonian climate, but the most delicate and with the least impact on the environment. They use recycled wood in their furniture, and only hire 100% local staff and companies. They trained their people in environmental management and built an energy system based on the eternal hydrological cycle.
7. EL PEDRAL – CHUBUT
El Pedral, in Punta Ninfa, Chubut, is the house of Chubut pioneers that houses a colony of penguins on its property
Tiño Resnik, together with his partner Julitte, built a semi-submersible “Yellow Submarine” boat to see the whales. Only one in the world. In turn, they are the owners of El Pedral, a European house built in 1923 by a Basque family, the first immigrants to the region, and located in Punta Ninfa, Chubut. It was built with materials and furniture that came from Europe to El Pedral, by boat. It is located in the middle of a forest that feeds on natural water courses. On its beaches there is a colony of penguins that settled there more than 10 years ago.
8. ESTANCIA LA ALEJANDRA – MENDOZA
Estancia la Alejandra, is cared for by Juan and his uncle. His helmet is 90 years old and was one of the only shelters used by the gauchos in charge of the cattle. In addition, every year they carry out the Crossing of the Andes with their guests, on the establishment’s horses (@ estancia.la.alejandra)
Juan along with his uncle are in charge of the Estancia, located in Valle de Uco, Mendoza. The oldest part of the place, with more than 90 years old and historical in the area, was one of the only refuges used by the gauchos in charge of the cattle: the famous “matera”, where they stayed. La Carrera is the area for guided horseback riding, and Juan defines the place as one of the most eco-friendly, since they protect the wild fauna and do not allow hunting.
9. THE PAYOGASTA ROOM – SALTA
In Salta, you will find La Sala de Payogasta. In a story of resilience, it was built in 1920 and overcame historical events such as the 1929 crisis
It is a case of resilience: it is a house with a lot of history. Built in 1920, it survived historical events such as the Crisis of 1929. This pandemic simply gave the owners of the place more strength and unity as a family, hoping that soon the patio will be filled with laughter and new anecdotes. Located in Payogasta, Salta, it is the room of a farm that is run by Julio, grandson of the founders. After the crisis of 1929, Julio’s grandparents (they are 80 years old) were among the few who decided to move on and continue their life in this town. Currently the hotel is a symbol for the area, operating as such for 15 years.
Companies to the rescue of hospitality tourism
An investigation carried out by the Singerman & Makon study (specialized in Tourism and Economy) on more than 1,400 cases throughout the country during the month of June, showed that travel and tourism remain at the top of consumption priorities, with savings available, for the post-quarantine stage, once tourist destinations reopen.
Considering the purchase priority, in a score from 1 (lowest priority) to 5 (highest) once the quarantine is over, travel leads the ranking with a score of 2.6, followed by culture and entertainment (2.1), and restaurants and gastronomy (2.1).
Argentines now prioritize traveling through the interior of the country, according to a study. Ammanik is a sustainable tourism company that offers innovative alternatives designed for each person (@ammanik)
On the other hand, Faced with the question of whether the quarantine has intensified the desire to travel, more than half of those surveyed said that the situation of social isolation generated a greater desire to make a trip (51%, compared to 30% who say they remain the same, and only 19% that they decreased). The segment that manifests the greatest desire to travel is made up of young people between the ages of 17 and 30.
Regarding the chosen destinations, travel within one’s own country becomes relevant. Two out of three respondents would choose to travel within the country after quarantine; and one in three respondents would prefer to travel abroad.
The new normal for restaurants in Italy (Claudia Greco / AGF / Shutterstock)
For its part, S.Pellegrino, a company that markets water in Italy, presented #SupportRestaurants, a movement that – along with The World’s 50 Best Restaurants- supports the gastronomic industry that has been affected so much by the pandemic that we are experiencing. In Argentina, the distribution company Ley Seca – the exclusive importer of the brand – took over the responsibility of this project supporting local restaurants through a support system encouraging consumption by delivery or take away. The forms of aid are various and include direct grants: 50 Best will perform direct contributions to restaurants and bars with grants of up to US $ 5,000 per establishment. The aid went to independent restaurants and bars in any country in the world.
They also thought a auction of the 50 Best « Recovery Offers »: Its about The largest global event of its kind, the main objective of which is to raise funds that will provide direct and tangible financial support for restaurants around the world as they emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. The auction is a key fundraiser for the 50 Best for Recovery program, announced last month, in conjunction with founding donor S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna. And it will feature more than 100 lots, providing the opportunity for bidders to select the most extraordinary global dining experiences, as well as limited edition and special items.
Customers eat at outdoor restaurants in the West Village in New York (. / Jeenah Moon)
Another example is that of the aperitif company Aperol, with its Orange Cards. The brand encouraged its consumers to send letters to their loved ones, with hopeful messages that were also projected on walls in different neighborhoods of Buenos Aires. The insight behind this proposal is that the distancing imposed by the pandemic is physical, but that the emotional approach is key to going through this difficult time. In addition, through the auction of the iconic Aperol ciboriums, 12,186 people were benefited with food assistance through the Food Bank.
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