Winter holidays 2022: occupancy reached 80% in high season in San Martín de los Andes

“Now a lot of work is being done for the first fortnight of August, which drops a bit because the school holidays are over, but it is the best time because there is the best snow and the weather is more accommodating,” detailed the hotel businessman in dialogue with this medium.

According to data from the Association and the local Secretary of Tourism, on average the value of a cabin located in the center for 4 people costs between $25,000 and $27,000 per day. An apart for 2 people in the simple category starts at $16,000 and reaches $21,500. It is estimated that one night of accommodation starts in $4,000 single, hostel $3,500 and a cabin in $5,000.

In high season, which runs from Monday 18 to Friday 29 July, on average a standard cabin (2 and 3 stars) for four people costs $25,000 per day, but there are promotions and bonuses for a stay of seven days. The highest category lodgings (4 stars) range from $35,000 to $45,000 daily for a typical family. The most exclusive with all kinds of services reach $65,000 per day, double base.

As for gastronomy, prices vary according to the menu. But on average a plate with soda costs $2,000 per coveredalthough a pizza for four people is worth $2,500.

This season, there will be new air connections to and from San Martin de los Andes, which will allow connecting with the entire country, Latin America, the United States and Europe. During July and August, In addition to the trips from Buenos Aires, Aerolineas Argentinas will connect Aviador Carlos Campos Airport (CPC), better known as Chapelco, with the cities of Rosario and Córdoba with a frequency of 5 weekly flights. Thus, for example, a tourist from Resistencia, in Chaco, can travel to Córdoba, and from there to SMA or Junín de los Andes. Or the same for a person who travels from Madrid to Ezeiza and from there to SMA.


Although the Association of Hoteliers and Gastronomists, which has some 160 members, expect a very good season, they also warned about international tourism. Since 2018, a VAT refund has been in force for foreign travelers, with the issuance of the T Invoice in accommodations in the country. Those covered by the AFIP regime are hotels, inns, pensions, hostels, motels, camps, apart-hotels and the like, as well as the country’s tourism agencies authorized by the Ministry of Tourism.

However, today many tourists prefer to make a minimum reservation and pay in pesos on the spot. “With the disparity of dollars, they don’t want to pay by card and prefer to change them to the blue dollar. With that, the incentive to repatriate dollars to the country is lost”Rock pointed out. “This can be solved by the national government”, he added.

Agustín Roca AHGSMA San Martin de los Andes.jpg

Journalist: What expectations do you have for the 2022 winter season?

Agustin Rock: As every year they are good, more than this year we have direct flights to the Chapelco airport in Brazil, Córdoba and Rosario, in addition to the historic one in Buenos Aires. That gives us different options for the connectivity that can be given. In addition, we have an advantage with other winters, that at Cerro Chapelco, a ski center is also inaugurated in Lago Hermoso, and the different options besides skiing for trekking, horseback riding, rides in lakes that were not exploited before.

Q.: How is the level of reservations of the lodgings?

AR: It comes in handy, with high demand and many queries. For the high season, which is the last two weeks of July, we are above 80% occupancy. And now a lot of work is being done for the first fortnight of August, which slows down a bit because the school holidays are over, but it is the best time because there is the best snow and the weather is more accommodating. The goal is to have continuity and reach September working.

Q.: How did the Pre-Trip impact this season?

AR: Last year was used a lot to buy ski services for this winter, and others for stays. It is happening that many have summer balances to pay for these winter vacations. With PreTrip 3 we are going to have a good demand for August, September and October and we are excited about that. It was a good initiative that gave an important push. Last year was a complete success.

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Q.: What must be taken into account to rent a lodging?

AR: We strongly emphasize that reservations are made in accommodations that are legally authorized, so as not to fall into an apartment or family home, because that is where the scams begin. One must be careful with that.

Q.: What are the tips?

AR: first thing when one sees the internet pages or the Facebook groups is to see that the place is enabled. For that, it has to appear in the Ministry of Tourism page and also see in Hoteliers Association website. Those enabled already have a name, they say they are complexes and generally have 4, 5 or 6 cabins. If it is a family home that has only one option, you have to be careful there.

Q.: Is this aggravated with temporary rental applications?

AR: The scams can be done from anywhere, offering a place in Saint Martin. What is apartments and houses is not regulated and that can generate a scam or a disagreement with the contract, such as not having heating. On top of that they don’t even give you an invoice so that later you can claim. It happens all over the country.

Q.: What differences in accommodation prices are there compared to other times or seasons?

AR: We are not far from what was charged in the summer of 2022. The jump was not that big, those rates were transferred quite a bit, added to a readjustment for inflation and employee salaries. For example, it went from $25,000 to $30,000, no more (N.del R.: it is 20%). Here the businessman knows that there is a ceiling and that more than that cannot be charged.

Cerro Chapelco


Q.: What expectations do you have with international tourism?

AR: We are beginning to recover it little by little. In summer, the fisherman and the European who walks, travels through the Cordillera and the Seven Lakes, returned. For this winter we will also recover the Brazilian, and for the spring the European and the American, who stay two nights and continue. In hotels in winter, 1 out of 10 reservations is foreign, but at other times, such as fishing, it reaches 3 out of 10, according to the complex, although many avoid the cabins.

Q.: Do international tourists take advantage of the exchange rate to come?

AR: Today the biggest problem we have in hotels is with the dollar and foreign tourism. After a long time we managed to have the T invoice, which you pay by credit card or by transfer and do not pay VAT. That was a very big advance, but with the disparity of dollars they don’t want to pay by card and prefer to change them to the blue dollar. With this, the incentive to repatriate dollars to the country is lost, that there is foreign currency income from tourism, and today it is not seen because most people come with the ticket in their pocket to change it. It’s a shame.

Q.: And how is that resolved?

AR: Taking the tourist dollar abroad to the parallel (blue dollar) of the Argentine tourist, so that they have the benefit of being able to use them. This is done with a resolution of the national government. For the previous summer, the foreigner could open a savings account, where the dollars were settled at an intermediate value. But he was still far from blue and it didn’t suit him. Today we see that it is a pity for the Argentine economy, that we need so many dollars, that the State cannot take advantage of foreign tourists, those who come to Argentina, to retain the dollars and are going elsewhere.

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