Tourism this week in Latin America

ARGENTINA Venezuelans are big spenders

Tourism this week in Latin America

Venezuelans are big spenders
Venezuelan tourists are discovering the advantages of shopping in Buenos Aires. According to a private survey, purchases carried out by foreign consumers in January increased by 3.2 percent in relation to the same month in 2007. The greatest increase was in the operations carried out by Venezuelan tourists, whose purchases doubled in the annual average per capita. In addition, Venezuelan visitors are already situated in fifth place in the foreign purchasers ranking, behind Brazilians, North Americans, Spaniards and Mexicans.

Aerolineas Argentinas renews and extends fleet
The company incorporated the first Airbus A320/200 aircraft, which will be used for domestic and regional traffic. A new Airbus of this model will arrive within 15 days, while another two aircraft, similar to that mentioned, will arrive in Buenos Aires during the next few months. In addition, Aerolineas will add the new A-330, wide-fuselage and the Extra Wide-Body A-350 and A-380 to the fleet. The Airbus A320/200 is a short and medium-range aircraft that enables the operation of domestic and regional flights. It has 164 seats.

New routes for Pluna
The general manager of Pluna informed that in order to expand they are aiming at new routes, although at first they won’t be profitable, “in order to encourage people to try them.” Pluna foresees opening Bariloche, Foz de Iguazu, Curitiba, Brazilia and other cities within Argentina and Brazil, incorporating a total of 24 destinations. On March 24th, in the Carrasco airport, the airline will officially present the first CRJ900 of the series of seven that it is considering incorporating in a brief period of time.

Tam launches new international website
Tam launched the international version of its website. The first country to have this service is Argentina at (with a Spanish version). The following implementation stage will be in Europe in March, and will have personalized contents, in their respective languages, for each destination operated by the airline (Paris, London, Milan, Frankfurt and Madrid).

Tam incorporates services with Lufthansa
The frequent flyer programs of Lufthansa (Miles & More) and TAM (Fidelidade) enable passengers to collect and exchange miles as of February 15th. The agreement also includes coordinating air connections and offering services jointly in the VIP lounges.

Sonesta arrives in Calama and Osorno
Sonesta Collection will arrive in Calama and Osorno, after having been chosen to manage the casino hotels that the Panamanian group Latin Gaming is currently constructing. The chain’s international deputy president will visit the site of the Casino del Sol in Osorno on March 3rd, when they will sign the contract with representatives of Latin Gaming.

Evergreen announces 5-star hotel
The Chilean-German company, Evergreen, is already looking at new projects after the inauguration of the Transpacific train, a tourist luxury railway made up of ten German wagons from the 30’s, which runs from Santiago to Puerto Mont in 14 days with tickets costing US$7,500.

AS receives flying license
The airline received the Commercial License from the Transport Supervisor and as of March 3rd will begin to operate on national and international frequencies. The Commercial Certificate will enable the company to operate on regular frequencies on main and international routes with passenger, cargo and mail transport, which will place it as the third commercial airline in the country.

Lan Peru requests a new route
Lan Peru requested the extension of its frequencies in order to be able to have , seven weekly frequencies that link Lima-Quito-Medellin and vice versa in addition to its route to Bogota.

Decameron and Nuevo Mundo group will invest US$65 million
The Blue Marlin business association, made up of the Hoteles Decameron chain and the Peruvian group, Nuevo Mundo, announced their decision to invest US$ 65 million this year in hotel projects in different locations in the country.

Hoteles Libertador begins construction of the first Westin of South America
Hoteles Libertador Peru began the construction of the Westin Libertador Lima which will be 118 meters tall, becoming the highest building in the country and the first Westin in South America. The inauguration is scheduled for the first semester of 2010. The investment for this construction is US$100 million. It will have an area of 72,000 m2, 30 floors and 5 lofts.

qp Hotels will inaugurate boutique hotel in Cusco with an investment of US$ 3 million
In the second semester of this year, the Peruvian chain QP Hotels and Resorts Worldwide will inaugurate a boutique hotel in Cusco, which required an investment of approximately US$3 million. The construction works could begin in July, and the hotel would begin to function in the second semester of the year.

New Quito airport would receive US$20 million more in April
In April, the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) will grant a further US$ 20 million to continue the construction of the Nuevo Aeropuerto Internacional of Quito. To date, the corporation has paid US$160 million. Quiport (the concessionaire) will deliver the finished project in October 2010.

Taca wants more routes from Costa Rica
Taca requested new routes to Cali and Medellin. According to the president of the airline for Costa Rica, the company hopes to successfully conclude the negotiation.

Avianca begins Bogota-San Jose route on the 29th
The airline will carry out four direct weekly Bogota-San Jose (Costa Rica) flights, and vice versa as of February 29th. A Fokker-100 aircraft will cover the route, with capacity for eight passengers in Executive Class and 89 in tourist class.

Avianca receives its first Airbus A320 aircraft
Avianca’s first Airbus A320 has the capacity to transport 150 travelers, 12 of these in Executive Class and 138 in Economy Class or Coach. The aircraft will serve routes within the country, including connections between Bogota, Barranquilla, Medellin and Cartagena, as well as the Cali-Miami-Cali connection.

Flight offers to this country will soon expand
The offer of direct flights to El Salvador will soon expand, as confirmed by the Minister of Tourism, who assured that “next May 8th, the service between Milan and San Salvador will begin on a regular and permanent manner; and will be operated by Livingston Air.”

Barcelo puts emphasis on hotel search
Barcelo’s wishes to enter the hotel market in El Salvador are still valid. Two of the chain’s executives paid a visit to the country and met with investors, hoping to recommence operations in the Salvadorian territory after its brief experience with the Siesta hotel, and in this manner resume its plans of offering its services.

Continental hopes that route to Houston transport 450,000 people per year
This week, the first flight of Continental Airlines left from Terminal 2 of the Benito Juarez International Airport in Mexico City (AICM) with destination to the North American town of Houston. It is hoped that this route will offer service to approximately 450,000 people annually, according to projections from the authorities at the air terminal.

Air Dominicana takes flight in May
Air Dominicana will begin flying next May, according to an announcement from the director of the Instituto Dominicano de Aviacion Civil. To start, Air Dominicana will fly to the United States and some Latin American countries with three aircraft with capacities of 125 passengers.

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