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Monday, January 5, 2015

CFK denies exchange restrictions hurt foreign travel plans

“You can see that those working for the monopoly are banned from reading other newspapers or maybe they do not know English.” President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner was in a combative mood yesterday on twitter, as the head of state used the social network to send off a flurry of messages defending her government’s economic administration and criticizing constant attacks from opposition media, including the Clarín Group.

One of the most controversial claims was CFK’s assertion, citing the front page of the Herald, that the so-called ‘exchange clamp’ was not damaging foreign tourism.

“How about that? No clamp, no devaluation. Spending power and the government’s public policies,” Cristina wrote, in reference to figures that showed Argentines continue to travel to the United States in large numbers despite difficulties in obtaining foreign currency.

Local citizens in 2013 represented the 14th largest nationality in terms of annual visits to the US, while statistics were even more impressive when taking into account tourism in Miami, Florida. The traditional holiday hotspot for Latin American jet-setters saw 485,276 spend at least one night there, ranking the nation third in the world for visits to the city.

Despite the president’s assertions, however, explaining the increased numbers of overseas travelers may not be such a simple task. Restrictions on accessing foreign currency have not drastically reduced Argentines’ ability to travel, partly thanks to the liberalization of the system under close control from the AFIP tax agency and via the use of credit cards, and partly because of attractive travel deals such as offers from Aerolíneas Argentinas to travel to Miami while paying off the fare in 12 monthly installments.

But many analysts believe that the official peso currently suffers from an exchange rate lag which exaggerates its real market value. Further devaluations such as that suffered at the start of 2014 could really start to hit the spending power of Argentines outside of the country.

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Tags:  CFK  clamp  currency  travels  Miami  US  





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Edition No. 5055 - This publication is a property of NEFIR S.A. -RNPI Nº 5343955 - Issn 1852 - 9224 - Te. 4349-1500 - San Juan 141 , (C1063ACY) CABA - Director Perdiodístico: Ricardo Daloia