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Latin America


Tourism this week in Latin America

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travelatlatinamerica.com  May 01, 2008

LATIN AMERICA
Spanish hoteliers will invest US$4.8 billion
The main Spanish hotel chains met in Inverotel to coordinate their international investments with an amount of US$4.8 billion in three years. The investments will be concentrated in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Costa Rica.

Big plans for Novotel
Accor Hospitality will form a Novotel Latin America network. At present, it has 16 operational branches in Brazil, Chile, Peru and Mexico, four more under construction, and it expects to have 25 more establishments by 2012. The branches in Brazil are Novotel Cuiaba and Novotel Rio de Janeiro Santos Dumont. In Argentina, the hotel will be in Buenos Aires, while in Peru it is being built in Lima.

ARGENTINA
Tax Free purchases increased by 13%
Tax Free purchases grew by 13 percent compared to last year, with an increase of 4 percent in the already existing shops. European tourists as a whole represented 26 percent of the total and increased by 24 percent compared to February of 2007.

Aerolineas Argentinas would cancel flights to Mexico
Aerolineas Argentinas would suspend flights to Mexico and Cancun, coinciding with the low demand season. The airline is working on a more ambitious itinerary that will include frequencies to Miami, Caracas and Bogota, among other destinations.

Trump evaluates entering the hotel business
Donald Trump would enter the hotel business together with the Fen Hotels chain to become the local representative of one of the main real-estate developers in the world. The Fen partners met with the businessman’s daughter and vice president of the Trump Organization in order to reach an agreement.

5-star hotel planned in Tigre
The construction of a hotel in Tigre, "Buenos Aires," will require an investment of US$15 million. The construction would begin during the second half of this year, with a construction period of 18 months.

URUGUAY
Pluna will have new routes
Pluna will fly directly between Montevideo and the Argentine cities of Rosario and Bariloche starting June 10th. The Montevideo-Rosario route will be covered by six weekly flights, while the Montevideo-Bariloche route will have one weekly frequency.

PARAGUAY
Regional Paraguaya Lineas Aereas finalizes details to start operations
Regional Paraguaya Lineas Aereas would begin operations at the end of July. The investment would be US$10 to 12 million in a project which would last three years. The routes would be Asuncion-Ciudad del Este-Buenos Aires and Ciudad del Este-Asuncion-Santiago and others that will be opened in the following months, and for which flight agreements have already been signed with two European and three North American companies.

BRAZIL
Pluna will have more flights between Sao Paulo and Montevideo
As of June 16th, Pluna will add six more weekly flights between Sao Paulo and Montevideo.

Varig signs agreement with Taca
The agreement signed between VRG and Taca initially foresees flights in the Sao-Paulo-Lima-Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro-Lima-Rio de Janeiro routes. In a second stage, this could also include other destinations in Brasil as well as in Peru.

Gay Pride parade has website
On the occasion of Sao Paulo’s Gay Pride parade, to be held on May 25th, Embratur launched loveland.net, a website with touristic and cultural information and related links for the homosexual community. With this site, they expect to promote Brazil as a gay friendly destination and encourage tourists coming to the event to visit other destinations in the country.

CHILE
Taca announces flights to Medellin and Guatemala
Taca announced new flights Santiago-Medellin and Santiago-Guatemala, both connecting through Lima, which will operate as of July 1st.

PERU
Peru Travel Mart 2008 held
Peru Travel Mart 2008, which was held on April 23rd to the 27th in Lima, the Sacred Valley, Machupicchu and Cusco, received tour operators from several countries. The President of the Republic, Alan Garcia, welcomed the participants.

Inka Rail and Andean Railways are the new operator on the Cusco-Machupicchu route
Fetransa authorized railway access for the route from Cusco to Machupicchu presented by Inka Rail. Also, the MTC confirmed access for Andean Railways to operate the Cusco-Machupicchu route, enabling the entry of another competitor in this sector.

“Las Casitas del Colca” began operations with an investment of US$4.5 million
“Las Casitas del Colca”, of Orient Express, located beside the Valley of the Volcanoes in the Colca Canyon, began operating. The investment has been US$4.5 million until the present.

ECUADOR
Canar Railway makes progress in rehabilitation project
The touristic circuit of the Tambo – Banos del Inca – Coyoctor (Canar) route will be operational in July, with an investment of US$1 million. The touristic circuit will begin its journey at the Archaeological Museum, where pieces of the Canari and Inca cultures are exhibited.

COLOMBIA
21 new certified taxis for tourism
In Bocagrande, 21 new taxis were certified as being of Touristic Quality. Six months ago, the Hilton hotel’s station was certified with this distinction. The Las Americas hotel’s station is currently undergoing this process.

PANAMA
Proposal to charge taxes to passengers in transit through Tucumen airport
The ACI for Latin America proposed charging an additional fee of US$10 to passengers in transit through the Tucumen airport.

Bern Hotels & Resort will open new hotel in 2009
Bern Hotels and Resort will open a new hotel, scheduled for 2009, as a result of a written agreement with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. The investment will be US$25 million.

MEXICO
6.0% airfare increase
The National Chamber of Air Transport estimates that a 6.0 percent increase in airfare will be necessary to cover the rise in fuel costs.

Cancun, 38 years as tourist destination
38 years have passed since Cancun placed itself as the country’s international destination capital with a large touristic offer. It receives three million tourists annually, and attracts an important amount of foreign currency. In 2007 it obtained US$3.073 billion, contributing 32 percent of Mexico’s touristic income. It also contributes substantially to the GDP of Quintana Roo.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Vik Hotel Chain presented new hotels in the Dominican Republic, the Canary Islands, Chile and Uruguay
Vik Hotels acquired 50 percent of two hotels in Punta Cana, the first being the 4-star Vik Hotel Arena Blanca and the second, the 5-star Vik Hotel Cayena. Furthermore, it will begin launching 4 and 5-star establishments located in the Canary Islands, the Dominican Republic and future openings in Chile and Uruguay. The hotels were presented at the Date tourism fair.

CUBA
Touristic bus expands its fleet in Varadero
Eight vehicles will be included in the proposal for the Touristic Bus. The Varadero Beach Tour travels along the peninsula with the purchase of a ticket valid for the whole day. The number of stops will be increased to 17, with 25 minutes between buses. The Hop-On Hop-Off Touristic Bus system also runs with smaller vehicles in the touristic areas of Trinidad, Jardines del Rey, Cuardalavaca, Vinales and Baracoa.

Inauguration of new hotel in Historic Center
Habaguanex will expand its accommodation capacity with the opening of the Marques de Prado Ameno hotel in Old Havana. This four-star establishment boasts a privileged location very close to the famous Plaza de Armas and Cathedral. The opening is scheduled for May.

Tourism this week in Latin America
Image via /latin-america-holidays.sunvil.co.uk



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