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The Central Bank of Argentina prohibits trips abroad to be paid in installments and controversy breaks out

The Government of Alberto Fernández was involved in a new controversy after the Central Bank surprisingly prohibited that tickets and all kinds of tourist services abroad can be paid in installments in order to avoid a greater outflow of dollars , in the midst of the economic crisis facing the country.

“Financial and non-financial entities issuing credit cards should not finance in installments purchases made by credit cards of their clients – human and legal persons – of tickets abroad, and other tourist services abroad (such as accommodation, car rental, etc.), whether carried out directly with the service provider or indirectly, through travel agencies and / or web tourism or other intermediaries “, states the resolution.

The problem is that when a user buys these services abroad in interest-free installments, he is actually being subsidized because, As prices are in dollars, it implies the use of Central Bank reserves, that frees foreign currency for the total debt to travel agencies in a country that also has a chaotic exchange market, with multiple quotes, and in which the price of the dollar in the illegal market is double that established by law.

The measure generated an immediate uproar because it was announced on Thursday night, without any official coming out to give explanations, and because it affects the country’s declining middle class that is waiting with expectation for the start of the southern summer holiday season. , which begins on December 21 but breaks out in January and February.

Those who planned to pay in installments for their vacations on the Brazilian beaches, for example, will now have to cover the entire cost in a single payment, or adjust to the financing rates imposed by each bank.

Secondly, the resolution of the Central Bank was published hours before the start of “Black Friday”, a day of discounts in which travel agencies and airlines had already prepared a series of promotions to cover in installments, but which are now canceled.

In addition, the announcement was made in the midst of the incipient reactivation that tourism is having, after 20 months of a pandemic that Argentina tried to control with a strict border closure that has just begun to relax.

The impact is also due to the fact that here, unlike other countries in the region, a large part of Argentine society has a deep-rooted habit of vacationing, which is why, in the absence of official information, the opposition took the opportunity to confuse and make believe that the Government wants to prevent travel abroad.


This Friday, when the controversy had already settled with complaints from the tourism sector, opposition criticisms and even criminal complaints, the Government spokesperson, Gabriela Cerruti, assured that the restriction to pay for tickets abroad will be temporary.

“It occurs within the framework of emerging from the economic crisis that we inherited from macrismo and the two-year pandemic, and in the middle of negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to resolve the external debt taken during the government of Mauricio Macri, “said the official.

He also criticized the opposition for manipulating public opinion, since the possibility of travel is in no way at risk.

Let’s be responsible, let’s not generate fear or terror. We will continue traveling, there will be different ways to do it. Some will pay for the trip in one installment, others will be financed with your credit card or personal credits, others will wait months. The possibility of traveling for pleasure, leisure, medical or family issues is not in question, “he said.

When Cerruti tried to clarify the scope of the measure, deputies of Juntos por el Cambio, the main opposition bloc and in which Macri participates, had already requested its annulment because they consider that it threatens “the freedom of Argentines to leave the country.” although the resolution of the Central Bank in no way prohibits this right.

In addition, the Argentine Federation of Associations of Travel and Tourism Companies and the Chamber of Air Companies in Argentina had already complained, who considered that it had a full impact on one of the sectors hardest hit during the pandemic and that it is just in the process of recovery. .

It is an attack on travel consumers and businesses, which are mostly small and medium-sized that have not yet been able to recover from the economic consequences of COVID-19 and now receive another impact on their businesses that are, neither more nor less, than their source of subsistence, “said the Federation .

If there was an intention to attract tourism or improve connectivity to attract foreign currency, this is certainly not the way. A few days after the International Tourism Fair in Argentina, we wonder what can be planned in a context like this. How can they explain to the parent companies why other countries are opening up and here we continue to isolate ourselves day after day (…) none of this was consulted or anticipated as possible, “said the Chamber.

Cecilia Gonzalez

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Donna Miller

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