Suffocated by the smoke-free industry

Holy Week ended with blessing tourism. After all, tourism is nothing but a boost of joy. A return to life full of smiles. The tourist is a human being who walks his history and his culture before, during and after the trip. For each place he passes, he leaves his mark, his wisdom, his ideas and, of course, his money.

The trip begins well before the day of departure. It spreads on bar tables, in conversations between friends, in visits to specialized sites that allow reservations, in savings and in the various requests that act like saliva when “mouth watering” before to eat a delicacy.

People go from side to side. She swaps roles, but stays the same, like great actors in a movie. Tourism thus becomes a real illusion that allows you to become something other than you are. The Minister of Tourism is like a great magician capable of managing other lives and even of inventing them. He becomes in a way the administrator of the Ministry of Well-Living. He would become a minister of joy.

In the end, we all end up being curious travelers who enjoy the ride – isn’t life itself a journey? – This is why heavy catalogs are prepared whose weight is lightened with a pre-travel card. The paths that lead to the destination are a little more cautious than those that those who stay at home usually take. The posters shine and seem to speak to those who travel, precisely. Native food generally has more penetrating aromas that activate the pituitary glands of those who walk. But the minister of joy, in truth, does not think of others. There are no pre-travel cards for those staying at home. If plane tickets are subsidized, why not look for cheaper fuel for those who choose to get in their car to get to their destination?


Tourism is seen as Pandora’s box of distribution and development. Nobody disputes it. We are, were and will all be tourists. But there is also the other side of the coin.

For tomorrow the voices are ready to shout the success of Holy Week. Every minister of happiness will come out to shout how the tourist places have been filled. They will say that there were those who had to sleep standing up somewhere because there were no more beds to put them on. With smiles, it will be commented that Aerolineas Argentinas has made 1,519 flights from the main tourist centers: Ushuaia, Córdoba, Iguazú, Bariloche, El Calafate, Salta and Rosario thanks to the special flights that have been placed. Yes, Tucumán will not appear on this list, again.

Last night the speeches were ready to comment that Aerolineas Argentinas has increased its daily flights between 20 and 25% compared to those it carried out before Easter. We will also detail that there were 3,800 buses that left Buenos Aires for the whole country full of passengers in search of happiness.

William Safire was a New York Times journalist who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1978. In addition to his column in this American newspaper, he wrote speeches for the infamous Richard Nixon. Safire argued that there were half-truths that clearly had a political purpose. “A half-truth – said Safire – is a statement precise enough to require an explanation; and the longer the explanation, the more likely a public reaction of half-belief will be.

Without a doubt, being able to share the truth is worse than lying. Lying has another logic. This is not the famous “glass half full”. In this statement, they can make us pass a drop for the rain or a figure for a fortune. So it will be true that a broken clock is on time twice a day, when in reality it is broken, it does not work. It is the relationship of a half-truth to the truth.

Of course, half-truths are not going to get along well with Holy Week because no one will be condemned to sin after the confessional: after all, a part of the truth carries. However, the Tucuman knows the other half and suffers from it.

The numbers posted by tourism in Tucumán can cheer us up for a few days, but Tucumán will continue to lag well behind Salta in terms of tourism. Years pass and half-truths continue to reign. Generating change requires deep policies, not make-up.

Things don’t happen suddenly and all at once. In tourism, as in any state policy, a package of measures is becoming essential. A bit like with inflation: isolated measures will only serve to hurt the wounds a little less, but at the end of the month the figures from the Indec will say that there has been no healing.

We Tucuman have seen how much prettier El Cadillal is: it has reached attractions it has never had. The same thing happens with San Javier. But Tucumán continues without profound changes. This implies more developed policies and an investment that none of the previous governments decided to make.

The image of the roads in the East, crowded with Uruguayans, was an alert that confirmed how much the hard currencies of our neighbors saw the opportunity to spend in Argentina. The promotion in the Chilean north or in the Bolivian south might have been some of the markets to dive into and tempt its travelers to come to these lands.

Major works are those that are lacking in the province. In the middle of the last century (only four decades ago), Tucumán occupied the central place of northern Argentina. Santiago, Salta, Catamarca, Jujuy were the backyards of the great ranch. Some came from these areas to study and many Tucumans traveled to these destinations to “go north”. A few years later, the patio grew and Tucumán seems to be the impoverished periphery of these provinces.

What happened during this time? There were political decisions. It is not a half-truth, but a concrete and palpable truth, in connectivity, in hotels, in planes, in roads that contrast with the shameful income that Tucumán has.

The budget and economy of the province are even larger than those of these districts. What is curious is how it is distributed and what is done with this money. In Tucumán, the priority seems to be political issues that take precedence over others and, of course, tourism. An example is how we Tucuman can be calm because we have managed to have two medical planes. Half truth. If there were legislation on public information, it would be possible to check how many trips or how many kilometers these ships make for political purposes and how many they make in accordance with health requirements. In truth, these are two political planes with trips for health.

Not so long ago, an incredulous entrepreneur from Tucuman, like many, bet double against single that the Avianca HUB (air liaison center in an airport to transfer their flights) would never be built, as it has been announced with great fanfare. It’s unclear if he found any players, but with his irony he left another half-truth open.

Policies define the future. And for them to bear fruit, you have to invest a lot of money. Otherwise, we are doomed to continue to live with half-truths, such as the one that states that Tucumán goes out into the world when in fact it has flights to Ezeiza and from there it waits for others to reach foreign destinations. The same goes for the flight to São Paulo. In truth, it is a trip to Salta, which is then transferred to another plane that goes to Brazilian lands. It’s the people of Salta who really travel the world with a stopover in San Pablo. Tucumán once had this flight to Lima, but it lasted very little.

Tucuman policy drowned in the development of the smoke-free industry. His biggest decision was during the time of Alperovich to create the entity. The dictionary says an entity is what exists or can exist. That is to say something very uncertain to be a future project. Previously, it was an arm of the Sports or Culture space. But independence has never been accompanied by concrete autarky. Instead, very expensive legislatures have been maintained and are attracting the attention of the whole country. Santiago del Estero, whom we envy so much for the works of recent times, has a budget per legislator of around 4 million pesos, compared to the 134 million annually administered by Tucuman. It’s also a half-truth, but it exposes the half that says the priority in Tucumán is not on the fundamentals of growing.

Another example of a button is how different municipal delegations or other administrations are filled with employees who end up eating 90% of the budgets. Thus, the inhabitants of these neighborhoods will not wait for the lights, streets or paths to be repaired so that travelers are welcomed.

Tucumán is not poor: it is the main economic province in the north of the country. But, it is a half-truth, because the resources, even with one of the highest fiscal pressures in Argentina, are used to support power and this distribution is fully functional for the entire leadership. This is why it is so difficult to change something. This is why the people of Tucumán show themselves with faces of frustration and helplessness, although the figures of Holy Week are something exciting.

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