Argentinian economics professor Aldo Abram recently criticized the government’s inability to curb inflation, highlighting the surge in Chilean tourists visiting Argentina to take advantage of the country’s plummeting prices. Despite wait times of over five hours at the Mendosaju border, more than 5,000 Chileans visit Argentina every day to purchase goods at prices 30% cheaper than in Chile.
During April alone, approximately 194,345 Chileans entered Argentina via Mendosaju, with 80% entering to purchase lower-priced food, personal hygiene and cleaning products. While before the pandemic, many Argentinians traveled to Chile for electronics, the economic crisis in Argentina has reversed the situation.
Chilean tourists, mainly lower-income earners, take food tours in Argentina to buy daily necessities at a lower price. “Everything is so cheap. Oil, coffee, sauce, diapers, rice, milk, and everything else are about 2 to 3 times cheaper than in Chile,” says one shopper.
However, this surge in tourism has caused inconvenience to local residents, and stores have had to implement measures such as limiting shopping hours to 7 am to 2 pm to address complaints from residents about long lines and wait times.
In conclusion, while Argentina’s economic situation has caused difficulties for its citizens, it’s become a shopping haven for neighboring Chilean tourists, who can purchase necessities at a much lower cost. However, it’s important to address the inconvenience caused to locals by the surge in tourism.