Mar del Plata is an Argentine city located on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean in the Buenos Aires Province, 400 km (249 mi) south of Buenos Aires. Mar del Plata is one of the major fishing ports and the biggest seaside beach resort in Argentina. With a population of 541,733 as per the 2001 census, it is the 7th largest city in Argentina.
Located southwest of the city there are quartzite quarries. The stone is traditionally used in construction. There is a huge area of farms in the rural areas surrounding the city, specialized mostly in the cultivation of vegetables.
As part of the Argentine recreational coast, tourism is Mar del Plata’s main economic activity with seven million tourists visiting the city in 2006. Mar del Plata has a sophisticated tourist infrastructure with countless hotels, restaurants, casinos, theatres and other tourist attractions. Mar del Plata is also an important sports centre with a multi-purpose Olympic style stadium (first used for the 1978 World Cup and later upgraded for the 1995 Pan American Games), 5 golf courses and many other facilities.
Mar del Plata is the most popular destination for conventions in Argentina after Buenos Aires. Mar del Plata has a wide range of services in this sector. The summer season hosts over fifty theatrical plays.