Leg 1 Saturday focus
January 1, 2011
In Argentina, the Dakar is a superstar!
In the setting of the Dakar Village, within the confines of the La Rural exhibition centre, the Minister for Tourism, Enrique Meyer, and the Minister of the Interior, Florencio Randazzo, yesterday unveiled an economic and festive presentation of the country, in which the leading rally-raid event took pride of place.
Under sunny skies and amidst a hustle and bustle of activity, the Argentine authorities held a particularly dynamic and responsible press conference. As the 3rd South American edition of the event readies itself to start, Enrique Meyer, Minister for Tourism, revealed the aspects which make the Dakar such an exceptional event for Argentina. "We can reach out to the world and show them our culture, population, traditions and landscapes. The Dakar offers us maximum exposure which no other campaign could give us". Whilst the country's image has been renewed and re-energised by the arrival of the rally, Enrique Meyer was also able to present the economic benefits which are, year upon year, provided by the Dakar. "During the month leading up to the event and the two weeks of the race, we estimate that 170 million dollars (140 million euros) are generated by the Dakar".
This overall sum is difficult to itemize, but it is all the more satisfactory to the local authorities since the Dakar, over three editions, has passed through 18 of Argentina's provinces.The Minister of the Interior, Florencio Randazzo, focused on the progress made to date: "From when we approached the President with the possibility of the Dakar coming to our country and now that we see that it is called the Dakar Argentina-Chile, we can rightly feel satisfied. However, we need to underline that in this development we have an argument that nobody in the long history of the Dakar has possessed: the crowds. The 4 million spectators present last year was a historical record".
The presenter of this Argentinean report highlighted that the economic growth of the country in 2010 and the recovery of consumption have been resulted in record estimates of holiday departures. "We are working with the road safety agency to ensure that the roads are as safe as possible. We are deploying significant resources in order to ensure the rules are respected. This concern for security is the same that drove us to collaborate with the Dakar management team to educate spectators who come to watch the rally. I hope that we will soon be able to announce that a 4th Dakar rally will be held in our country," concluded Florencio Randazzo