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Tourism this week in Latin America  Oct 02, 2008

Pluna and Taca to begin operations in October
Pluna and Taca will carry out operations to Paraguay beginning in October. Pluna will fly between Montevideo and Asuncion 4 times per week as of Wednesday the 29th. In addition to Asuncion, the airline will make daily direct flights to several cities in Argentina and Brazil, as well as Santiago de Chile. Taca’s direct flights to Asuncion from Lima (Peru) will begin on December 15.

Nautical tourism launches website
Nautical tourism now has digital support after the launching of a website dedicated to this branch of the sector. According to experts, the site will provide tourists with information in four languages (Portuguese, English, Spanish and French) about navies, available moorings, coordinates and charts.

New soccer museum
‚ÄúAs marcas do Rei‚ÄĚ is the first exhibit housed in the new Soccer Museum which opened its doors yesterday in the Pacaembu stadium in Sao Paulo, headquarters of the Corinthians club. The exhibit brings together pieces of personal heritage of the star in order to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Brasil‚Äôs first World Cup (1958). The museum is made up of 17 themed rooms and is located under the stands of the stadium in a space of 6,900 square meters.

ANAC authorizes the unification of Gol and Varig
The National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) issued prior authorization for the corporate restructuring of its subsidiaries Gol and Varig, thus allowing them to be joined into one single company. The company announced that the restructuring would allow for the optimization of the operational structure of the subsidiaries in order to make services such as operation integration and an increase in the offer more efficient. The Gol and Varig brands will be kept separate by the new company.

Government to regulate hotel services by their stars
The new tourism law being discussed by Congress would establish a set of conditions for hotels according to the number of stars that they have. In this way, 5-star hotels would have to have services such as an internet connection, a heated pool and an international restaurant. This law is a complete step forward for the sector.

New Air Comet ‚Äď Sky Airlines alliance
Air Comet Chile and Sky Airlines signed a commercial and operational agreement. Both companies will work together to strengthen their participation in regional touristic and commercial air transportation.

New airline may begin operating in December
The new state-run airline Boliviana de Aviacion (BoA) will begin operations in December with at least three airplanes, and is planning the arrival of two other aircraft by mid-2009. Next year they plan to have an aeronautical fleet of five airplanes.

Remodeled airport in Cajamarca inaugurated
Remodeling works at the Cajamarca airport were recently inaugurated, consisting in the internal restructuring of the terminal building, and the construction of an entryway guaranteeing safety inside the airport, as well as internal remodeling in order to create better passenger flow and the best signs for the airport.

Signs in English on touristic streets in Rimac
Soon an aggressive plan for signs in Spanish and English will be carried out in the main tourism points of Rimac. Among the tourists attractions to be given signs are the Paseo de Aguas, Alameda de los Descalzos, Alameda de los Bobos, the Quinta Presa and the viewpoint from San Cristobal hill.

Museums to be built in Sacsayhuaman
Two museums are set to be built soon: the Site Museum and the Popular Art Museum of the American Art Institute, as well as an interpretation center and a tourist services center. The rooms planned for the site museum will display archaeological pieces found in this important historic monument.

Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel receives 5-stars
The Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel now has five stars, thus becoming the first 5-star hotel in Machu Picchu.

LAN Peru may fly to Washington as of January 2009
In the last half of January 2009, LAN Peru may begin direct flights between Lima and Washington, in the United States. The frequency will first be operated four times a week.

VAT refund to tourists becomes effective
Tourists visiting Colombia can now request a refund of taxes for purchases made (VAT). Products established under the law are: clothing, shoes, compact discs, crafts, liquor, toys and jewelry. To get the refund, tourists must register with the National Directorate of Taxes and Customs, presenting their passport, entry stamp, migration card or any other entry document.

Among the 50 best
In the latest World Economic Forum (WEF) global tourism competitiveness index, Panama moved up 5 positions, placing it among the 50 best countries in the world in the leisure industry. The categories in which the Central American country had the highest rankings were ‚Äėnatural resources‚Äô (sixth place), ‚Äėbilateral air service agreements‚Äô (eleventh place), ‚Äėport infrastructure‚Äô (fifteenth place) and ‚Äėhotel prices‚Äô (twenty-fifth place).

Livingston to begin flights to Italy and vice versa
Livingston will begin flights every 8 days between Italy and San Salvador beginning October 31. The airline will cover a route departing from Milan to Havana, and then to San Salvador, and returning with a direct flight to Milan.

Cancun is best beach destination
The World Travel Awards named the Mexican city the Best Beach Destination in Central America and the Caribbean. This is the fourth time that Cancun has been recognized in this category by the same international organization, which selects its winners through votes cast by travel agency representatives from all over the world.

Cruise ships propose the repeal of tourist tax
The Senate Tourism Commission proposed the repeal of the 56 peso Non-Immigrant Fee (DNI) which would be imposed on cruise ship passengers arriving in the country. According to the Federal Fee Act, the charge was to be made effective as of this past July 1. However, the federal Executive issued a decree on June 30, 2008 to postpone the effective date of this fee due to the clear effect it would have on this industry.

Tourism this week in Latin America

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