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Latin America Tourism

Tourism this week in Latin America  Jan 22, 2009

Florianopolis, third best gay destination
Florianopolis is considered the third best Brazilian destination for gay tourists. Such places as Mole Beach or La Galheta Beach are becoming well-known spots by gay tourists from around the world for good reasons –the prevailing open-minded attitude among locals and the array of services offered are some of them. There are exclusive nightclubs, nude beaches and gay-friendly hotels like Eco Vila. Even the most exclusive establishments –such as the Majestic Palace hotel downtown- is also tearing down some walls.

TAM started new on-board service for international flights
TAM started its new international on-board service called “Brazil Aboard”. The delicacies first-class passengers can now enjoy include crab salad with tapioca biju and cheese mousse, as well as marajoara chicken served in a miniabóbora with white rice and broccoli. End your meal with a trio of local desserts: quindim, some creamy coconut cake, and sweet of milk.

TAM launched TAM Brazil Airpass and TAM South America Airpass
On January 1st TAM started selling the 2009 version of TAM Brazil Airpass and TAM South America Airpass. With them, passengers who don’t live in Brazil, including Brazilians living abroad, will be able to travel to a number of destinations in Brazil and South America paying discounted rates. To get TAM Brazil Airpass, passengers have to buy an international air ticket from any place outside Brazil to any Brazilian city. TAM’s promotional pass will be issued as a separated ticket and attached to the international ticket.

TAM to place a Boeing 777-300 in GR—London route
Tam launched its route to the UK with the operation of a new Boeing 777-300ER. Now all flights between SĂŁo Paulo (Guarulhos) and London (Heathrow) will use this airliner with a seating capacity of 365 passengers (63 in executive class and 302 in economy class).

Hilton to open hotel in Salvador de Bahia
Hilton Hotels Corporation signed a multiyear agreement with Grupo IMOCOM to manage a 5-star, full-service Hilton Hotel in Salvador de Bahia. The establishment is 30 km away from the Salvador International Airport and will feature 170 rooms furnished with the new Hilton Serenity Collection of white sheets and mattresses. Other amenities include a gym, a spa, and 280-plus-square-meter shopping area, while business travellers will have available a 743-sq-mt area for business meetings with 6 conference rooms and 2 meeting rooms.

El Carmen Convent considered first historical hotel
El Carmen Convent Hotel, one of the historical icons of Brazil, is one of the finest luxury accommodation and cuisine choices in the city, and is part of the select list of Leading Hotels. The building still keeps its most peculiar feature: silence. Style has also been well preserved. The seventy-nine monastic cells are now rooms with plasma TV sets, among other furnishings, although still with shaded lights, separated by huge, labyrinthine corridors and isolated by 80-cm thick walls –just as in their old days.

Puno inventoried 96 tourist sites
Lake Titicaca will no longer be the only attraction in Puno –now that 96 spots that have been inventoried as tourist sites in the region. They are located in several provinces: AzĂĄngaro, Carabaya, Chucuito, Collao, HuancanĂ©, Lampa, Melgar, Puno, Sandia, Moho, Putina, Yunguyo and San RomĂĄn. The most visited places in 2008 were Lake Titicaca, Los Uros islands, AmantanĂ­, Taquile, and the chullpas (high stone buildings) in Sillustani. LlachĂłn, Ccotos, Ticonata, Capachica, Atuncolla, are preferred by tourists to spend a few days living with local inhabitants.

Taca to start direct flights Lima – Havana in March
Taca has announced that starting March 23rd there will be direct flights connecting Lima and Havana three times a week, thus becoming the only airline to join both countries non-stop.

Libertador Hotel remodelling works in Cusco to begin by mid-year
Remodelling works at the Libertador Cusco Inka Palace Hotel –which faces the Santo Domingo Convent and Koricancha Palace- will start between March and August this year, and will take 12 to 15 to complete. Remodelling includes enlarging all rooms, building a spa, and changing furnishings.

Galapagos considered between top-three must-go destination
The New York Times, in its special publication on travel issued last Sunday, January 11th, included Galapagos Islands as the third most-recommended tourist place for their readers to go in 2009. The publication gives a number of reasons to do so —the bicentennial of British scientist Charles Darwin and the 150th anniversary of the first edition of “The Origin of Species”, a book that contains his scientific experiences during his visit to the Islands.

Tax on cruise travels suspended
The effectiveness of the US$10 tax charged to cruising tourists was deferred by the government on threats by cruiser owners to exclude Guatemala from the list of destinations. Executives of the cruise industry and government officials met yesterday to reach an agreement on the controversial charge, which was suspended until May 1st, or until an agreement is reached.

Airlines reduced prices by more than half
As a result of decreased number of passengers and excess supply of airplane seats, Mexican airlines have reduced by more than 50 percent their ticket prices to the main national and international destinations. Aeroméxico, Mexicana de Aviación, Volaris, Interjet and Aviacsa are offering discounts as part of their strategy to appeal more customers and increase their income.

BarcelĂł opened fourth hotel
Barceló opened Barceló Cayo Santa Maria Beach in Cuba, a 5-star establishment with 624 rooms that will marketed under the Barceló Premium mark. It will be located at seashore of key Santa Maria and will be completed by 2010. It will feature 2,780 rooms, a VIP club, 21 restaurants, 28 bars, 2 theatres, a jazz-café, a bowling bar, a conference centre with 27 conference rooms, a 2,200-sq-mt spa -a tourist town stretching over 45,000 square meters dedicated to leisure.

Tourism this week in Latin America
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