Tourism Doing Business

Tourism Doing Business Investing in Uruguay

Investing in Uruguay

“Uruguay is the country in South America that receives the greatest number of international tourists in relation to the size of its population. After the pandemic, the sector has been recovering quickly, both in terms of international and national tourism, and it is expected that in 2024 it will exceed pre-pandemic levels.”

Natalia Bayona,
Executive Director, UN Tourism

"Tourism Doing Business, Investing in Uruguay" is the second investment guide made in collaboration with CAF - development bank of Latin America and the Caribbean. It highlights the main economic, political and social strengths of Uruguay, including its solid institutional and economic framework, its entrepreneurial and innovative culture, diverse natural landscapes and an attractive cultural and gastronomic offer. These attributes make Uruguay a favorable destination for investments in the tourism sector.

Economic Outlook

The guide begins by making a macroeconomic analysis of Uruguay, highlighting its sustained growth during the last two decades in which the country was affected by the effects of COVID-19. However, its resilience allowed a prompt recovery in 2021 and 2022. The year 2023 was marked by important challenges for the country, meteorological phenomena and the slowdown of its main trading partners conditioned its growth, which is estimated to have closed at 0.3%. However, in 2024 and 2025, growth is expected to accelerate and be around 3.3% and 2.5%.

The report also emphasizes the diversification of its economy, including the agro-export sector, the timber industry and traditional services such as tourism and transportation that contribute significantly to the Uruguayan economy.

FDI Performance

The second chapter focuses on investments in the country, highlighting a substantial 71% increase in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in 2022, largely driven by the manufacturing industry and financial services. In the tourism field, the report shows the government's efforts to improve road, port and airport infrastructure, with an investment plan of up to USD 3.3 billion in road infrastructure. In addition, the importance of the Investment and Industrial Promotion Law is highlighted, through which 208 tourism projects worth USD 631.2 million have been declared of national interest between 2015 and 2023.

Value Proposition

This guide also presents the value proposition of Uruguay, where, in addition to its solid institutional base, it stands out for its strategic location that facilitates access to the main markets in South America, for having a growing entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem, and for the importance of tourism in the economy, which represents between 6% and 8% of GDP and employs more than 100,000 people.

Additionally, the report provides a summary of taxes and incentives of interest to investors, as well as information on the types of societies or companies that can be established in the country.

Green Investments Outlook

The fourth chapter focuses on sustainable investments, highlighting the country's initiatives and policies regarding environmental protection, climate change, and renewable energy. Uruguay's commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals and its important effort for the development of renewable energies and green hydrogen are emphasized.

Competitive Outlook

Finally, the report presents the competitive landscape of the tourism industry in Uruguay, highlighting its position in the World Economic Forum's Travel and Tourism Development Index and underscoring security, digital infrastructure, and the participation of small businesses in the sector. In addition, the favorable environment for doing business in Uruguay is emphasized, including regulatory stability, tax incentives, and the ability to attract quality talent.