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Latin America Tourism

Tourism this week in Latin America  Apr 09, 2008

Cultural tourism increases in Buenos Aires
640,000 foreign tourists “invaded” the city in the summer of 2008, 11 percent more than in 2007. Cultural tourism grows each year and now places Buenos Aires among attractive cities such as Paris, New York and Madrid. The city attracts Europeans and North Americans, as well as tourists from neighboring countries.

Airlines increase flights
In the past few months, international airlines increased the frequency of flights, adding more options for passengers. The latest additions have been made by Air Canada, Qantas and British Airways, which will launch direct flights, or more dynamic flights with a stopover this year.

Air Canada daily flights to Toronto
Air Canada will offer non-stop flights between Buenos Aires and Toronto from December 1st of this year until April 1st, 2009. The airline, which currently operates one daily flight between both cities with a stop-over in Santiago de Chile, will thus have five weekly flights.

Bus tour
It has always been said that Buenos Aires is the most European of the Latin American capitals. Although there are many differences, as tourism grows in the city new options arise, making it more similar to the large capitals of the world such as Paris, London or Madrid. Buenos Aires already offers the option of taking an open-air bus ride.

Hyatt is interested in Hotel Carrasco
The Hyatt chain stated its interest in participating in the bid for the Hotel Casino Carrasco. The consortium hopes to manage a five-star hotel with a private casino. The investment will surpass US$50,000,000 and will be ready within two years.

TAM's plans for this year
The airline's president informed that in order to maintain leadership in the domestic and international market, the company will increase the seating offer by 14 percent and 40 percent respectively. TAM estimates that domestic demand will increase from 8 to 12 percent and that average occupation will reach 70 percent. It is also planning to begin three new frequencies to international destinations.

Aloft, new brand of Starwood Hotels & Resorts for South America
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Latin America will meet with investors and businesspeople to present its expansion strategy and brand portfolio for the development of future projects, as well as launching the new brand Aloft for the South American market. The company confirmed more than 20 new hotel projects in Mexico, Central America and South America. This year Starwood Latin America will inaugurate eight new hotels, consolidating more than 60 initiatives in the region.

Open Skies with England
Official sources reported that Chile and England have signed an “open-sky” agreement, which includes passenger traffic as well as cargo. The agreement will enable the airlines from both countries to operate between anywhere in the world and these two countries without restrictions, as detailed in a communiqué by the Civil Aviation Board (JAC, for its acronym in Spanish).

Indigenous population will promote Madidi and Pilon Lajas
“Eslabon” is the first indigenous tour operator of Bolivia and offers clients different touristic services managed by communal and indigenous companies, informed the director of the project and founder of the eco-touristic lodge, Chalalan. The enterprise promotes the attractions of the Madidi national park (La Paz) and the Pilon Lajas Biosphere Reserve (Beni) in the local and international market.

Discovery of pre-Hispanic wall in the subsoil of the Historical Center of Cusco
A pre-Hispanic wall was discovered in the subsoil of the Historical Center while works to install drainage pipes were being carried out, informed the National Culture Institute (INC for its Spanish acronym). The wall was discovered by workers from a local potable water company in the Limapampa Grande square, situated a block away from the Koricancha or Temple of the Sun. INC – Cusco specialists have not yet determined if the discovery belongs to the Inca or pre-Inca period, and the subject is under investigation.

Luxury hotel prices would increase by 20 percent next year due to the fall of the dollar
Four and five-star hotel prices would reflect an increase of 20 percent next year as part of a strategy to reduce the effects of the fall of the exchange rate, the hotel chain Casa Andina commented today. It should be noted that the price of the dollar fell by 8.2 percent in the first quarter of the year, in view of low exchange market pressure due to the important input of foreign currency from exports and the weakness of this currency internationally.

IHG will open Holiday Inn Express in Cartagena
Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) will open the Holiday Inn Express Cartagena Hotel & Suites, the group’s first property in Cartagena. The new 32 floor hotel will be part of a mixed-use complex in the modern city center, only 20 minutes from the Rafael Nuñez International Airport.

Avianca renews fleet with its own resources
Avianca informed today than an “important” part of the more than US$7 billion that it will invest in the renewal of its fleet in the next few years will come from its own resources, although it is also investigating other methods of financing. The airline’s president, Fabio Villegas, informed that this year the airline will invest close to US$300 million in the incorporation of new aircraft. The director commented that they is deciding between London and Frankfurt for a new European destination to add to Madrid and Barcelona.

Rebirth of Huatulco
The Mexican government launched a project for the Rebirth of Huatulco as an international destination. President Felipe Calderon Hinojosa affirmed that different actions will be carried out to achieve the growth of the community and of the local and national tourism sector. To achieve this goal, the Inter-Institutional Agreement was signed by 12 Ministries of State and Federal Government organizations, as well as the State Governments of Oaxaca and the Municipality of Santa Maria Huatulco and the members of the private initiative, which highlights the joint effort to convert this into one of the country’s main destination.

Discovery of new caves in reserve
New caves were discovered in the Caguanes National Park of Yaguajay, in the central-southern Espirituan territory, which is considered a Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture. On the floor of one of these large caves food remains, mostly sea mollusks, were found and it was proven that it had been inhabited by natives of the Early Mesolithic or Siboney Guayabo Blanco, informed Hose Chirino, speleologist and organizer of the expedition.

Tourism this week in Latin America
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