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Argentina – Globalia could invest in casino resort in Iguazu

By - 29 January 2018

The Spanish tourism group Globalia is advancing in the development of a 500-room hotel and casino resort in the Iguazu Falls, whereby they plan to offer all inclusive package holidays for their European customers according to reports emerging in local press.

Globalia is Spain’s leading travel and tourism company and is managed by Juan José Hidalgo. It comprises a number of independent companies that compete in their respective sectors including Europa Líneas Aéreas, the third largest airline in Spain. In May last year Air Europa announced that it would open flights between Madrid and Iguazu, via Rio de Janeiro in 2018.

Located within the Iguassu National Park, on the border between Brazil and Argentina (in the cities of Foz do Iguaçu and Puerto Iguazú), has a qualified structure for receiving tourists, with a visitors center, parking, hotel, restaurant, internal buses, additional sightseeing tours, shops, food court and a hiking trail to access the falls.

Details of the new project emerged last week during The International Tourism Fair in Madrid. According to local press, lawmakers are moving forward with plans, which would allow for further Spanish investment after The Minister of Tourism for Argentina Gustavo Santos, along with a number of governors in the country’s interior, began to negotiate for significant investment from Spain.

According to local news portal Misiones On Line, Globalia will take charge over the building of what will eventually be the Hilton. Around 40 per cent of the work is already complete. Consequently the building of the Hilton Iguazu hotel with 180 rooms and an 18-hole golf course will be resumed in the coming months because the group wants to start operating later this year once the Air Europa flights are up and running and the all inclusive packages can be sold from the group’s tourism agencies. Sources are also quoted as saying that the company will take over the adjacent land as they would be able to expand the number of hotel rooms to 500 and build a casino.

The area is already the location of a boat which was abandoned in 2013 and was going to be used as a Floating Casino as part of a major project to create a “mini Las Vegas”. For now the boat remains anchored and in a state of disuse. The operation to bring the boat to the province was initially undertaken by the Provincial Institute of Lotteries and Casinos of Misiones (IPLyC) and cost more than 250 million pesos. In 2013 plans for the new casino were officially unveiled after an agreement was reached between the Provincial Institute of Lotteries and Casinos.

Officials at the time revealed that the casino would house 52 five star category rooms would have 8 floors, a swimming pool and other entertainment facilities including a sauna and spar. The casino would have consisted of six gaming rooms while another hotel was to be constructed nearby on the harbour. It is unknown for now, however, if the company plans to restore the boat and use it as part of the project.

Over a million people visit the falls each year. However, tourists generally only stay for short periods as the majority of visitors quickly move on after visiting the national park and other attractions such as the Jesuit ruins in San Ignacio Miní.

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