Between the second half of December and the first half of January, 12.8 million tourists were on the move around Argentina, spending more than 491 billion pesos.
The four-week period saw a rise of 2.3 percent in the number of tourists taking trips from the previous year, with spending up 19 percent in real terms, according to a report prepared by the Argentine Chamber of Medium-Sized Enterprises (CAME).
The data indicates that the average stay for travellers was slightly lower than summer 2022 (4.2 days vs. 4.6 days last year), attributed to an increase in daily spending, which averaged 9,035 pesos this year, 26.4 percent higher than in the 2021/2022 season, accounting for inflation.
The CAME report highlighted international tourism, estimating that more than 300,000 people entered the country over the four-week period, with most arriving from Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Chile and the United States.
According to the chamber, "commercial activity remained calm."
"The local tourist is buying cautiously, but the foreigner compensates by taking advantage of convenient prices," wrote the report's authors.
Leading the ranking of most visited destinations at the start of the season, according to official data, wasMar del Plata, followed by Bariloche, Villa Gesell, Pinamar, Las Grutas, Carlos Paz, Merlo, Colón, Puerto Iguazú and Mendoza.
Broken down by regions, the Atlantic Coast received the most visitors, followed by the Córdoba mountains, the Litoral and Cuyo.
Mar del Plata lead the way for occupancy rates, while in Patagonia, Bariloche received 150,000 tourists in the first two weeks of January alone. There were also rushes for hotel rooms in coastal destinations (especially Las Grutas and Playas Doradas) and mountain destinations (El Bolsón, San Martín de los Andes and Villa La Angostura).
With most attracted by the famous Iguazú waterfalls, Misiones Province averaged 85 percent of the hotel beds filled in the first two weeks, with more than 65,000 national and foreign tourists visiting the region.
In Entre Ríos, 400,000 tourists arrived in the first two weeks of January alone, with occupancy levels reaching peaks of 95 percent in Colón, 98 percent in Federación, 99 percent in Gualeguaychú and 93 percent in Concepción del Uruguay, according to the survey.