Maria Jose Barciela Maria Jose Barciela

Argentina ripe for incentives

Organisers of incentive travel, corporate retreats and other group movements are being urged to think beyond Buenos Aires when recommending Argentina to their clients.
Maria Jose Barciela, marketing director of boutique travel operator Across Argentina, has been living in Auckland and working the New Zealand and Australian markets since April this year.
Born and bred in Buenos Aires, Barciela says she loves the city but that Kiwi organisers and delegates will find Argentina’s real gems beyond the city boundaries. ‘Of course, people can find that city experience but Argentina’s natural attractions are amazing. At the same time they will find a high level of service, and international standards.’

Barciala, who is a founding partner of Across Argentina along with sister Maria Clara, recommends experiences such as the Mendoza wine district, especially for smaller groups looking to stay in lodges of about 10 rooms and utilise boutique wineries. ‘Of course Mendoza city is nearby and larger groups can stay there and go into the wine district.’
She also highly recommends the lake district of Bariloche, Patagonia, which features well-known Llao Llao Hotel and other luxury lodgings as well as Iguazu Falls and the lesser-known destination Salta in the northwest.
Across Argentina will be exhibiting at the Pacific Area Incentives and Conferences Expo (PAICE 2016) at SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre on 9 November. ‘Our main market until now has been leisure and we have been dealing with retail travel agents, but we see real appeal in our product for incentive travel. We are about boutique, designer experiences, so we suit that market.’
Barciela says one message she will be pushing at PAICE is how safe Argentina is. ‘I know there is a feeling about South America (not being safe) and I understand that but something that surprises people in Argentina is just how safe it is.
PAICE is ideal for corporate travel agents, incentive operators, group travel providers and organisers of meetings, conferences and other business events. Register here: