Dólar “turista”: confusión y resignación en Ezeiza tras las nuevas medidas del Gobierno

When Veronica (57) planned the trip with her daughter to the United States, clear (17) had not yet turned 15, he was enthusiastic about celebrating it with his mother in Miami and New York, and the dollar was trading at $43.8. Due to the pandemic, their plans were interrupted and they just got on the plane today, less than 16 hours before the entry into force of an increase of 10 additional percentage points to any purchase they want to make with a credit or debit card (give a dollar of $236.50), and with the blue dollar close to $290. It is an increase in the price of 440% (against the current card dollar) and 562.1% (against blue) between when they began to devise their escape and when they walked through the boarding gate.

Veronica (57) and Clara (17) travel to the United States

Among the passengers of Minister Pistarini Airportin Ezeiza, province of Buenos Aires, a feeling of confusion spreads. Two older adults waiting in line for the check in to Bolivia they try to invert the roles of the interview, before the consultation of THE NATION. They answer the questions with questions: “What should I pay with? If I have been buying dollars for several years, should I sell them to pay the card when I return and spend with the credit card?” Doubts are shared by many travelers who are leaving the country these days.

Fraud suitcases in handtourists are “trapped”. Many of them projected their trips years in advance, which were extended with extensions due to the pandemic, quarantine, international restrictions, the impossibility of traveling due to not having the required vaccines, and other limitations. Many also express regret that, of having “known what was going to happen”, they had not planned their trips. “We are already played. Go you will go, that is not in doubt. You’re locked in,” he says. Richard (63), who waits on the other side of the dividing posts for his wife Marcela (58), who is going to Switzerland to visit one of his sons, who emigrated. The family can only pay for her to visit him, her brother and her father remain in Argentina.

Ricardo and Ignacio wait for their mother while she checks in to travel to Switzerland
Ricardo and Ignacio wait for their mother while she checks in to travel to Switzerland

In recent years, the resurgence of the blue dollar, the multiplication of different exchange rates, the stocks, the implementation of the PAIS tax, the 35% Profit withholding until yesterday and 45% as of today, the cancellation of the quotas for tickets, hotels, tourist packages and purchases in the buy free were some of the changes implemented that complicated the planning of a trip abroad. Tourists, in addition to thinking about where to go, what activities to do and which hotel to stay in, they wonder what the “replacement cost” of their dollars will be when they return and they think about the different forms of purchase available to try to make their payments with the best possible exchange rate.

the last measure It particularly affects those who confirmed reservations without advance payments. They projected an expense and it will be another one that they see reflected on their cards when hotels or agencies charge the price that travelers froze in foreign currencies, such as dollars, reais, Chilean or Uruguayan pesos.

Among the most affected are those who froze reservation prices but did not pay in advance
Among the most affected are those who froze reservation prices but did not pay in advance

This is the case of Guillermo (28), who took out tickets to go with his girlfriend to Brazil in August. Last night, he walked into his banking startup to confirm that your reservations, made through a tourist portal, have been credited to your debit card, but you realized that the cancellation policies meant that payments would only be made three days before entering the hotel, with which they will be more expensive than projected. “The only thing that relieves me in this situation is that I got the tickets on a Tuesday and, seven days later, with the resignation of Martín Guzmán in the middle of that Saturday, they were worth twice as much,” he confesses.

The confusion generated by the diversity of exchange rates and the speed at which prices increased in the last week, tied to the rise in the blue dollar -which grew by $51 in 11 days-, caused Martha (50 years Horace (42) incur in an operation that is detrimental to their finances. For urgent work reasons, they had to travel to Ghana this morning. They communicated by telephone with the airline that makes the most direct connection. According to their testimony, the operator assured them that they had to pay for their tickets in dollars. They went to a “cave” and bought the US currency at $282. Upon arriving at the airport today, the saleswoman told them that they should pay in pesos and that he could take their dollars at the official exchange rate (about $135). They stopped to think what to do in the waiting chairs in the international departures hall. At the time of the consultation THE NATIONThey considered the possibility of going back to the cave to sell them at $280, a less considerable loss than the 52% that would imply delivering their currencies at the official value.

Marta (50) and Horacio (42), passengers to Ghana
Marta (50) and Horacio (42), passengers to GhanaGerardo Viercovich – THE NATION

For most passengers, the rise in the tourist dollar and the blue dollar in recent weeks implies an adjustment in the planning of their expenses during the trip. Carolina (46), Teresa (69) years Sofia (17) head to Miami. “I have been saving for a year or more, now we found out about this. We are with the fair dollars. We pay for hotel reservations and we get away because we chose the option of paying in full in advance, but obviously we are going to limit ourselves a lot to buy. I don’t know how much I would be saving,” said Carolina. She had planned to buy a cell phone for her daughter, with a credit card. Against the last measure, the idea was suspended. One more case that evidences the odyssey of traveling in times of exchange uncertainty.