Latin America continues to grow in popularity as a tourism destination
Latin America has continued to grow as a popular tourism destination in the first quarter of 2017.
Visitor numbers to the region are looking very promising and the development of new hotels and increased air connectivity are expected to drive visitation further.
The Latin American Travel Association (LATA) members give an update on activity:
Peru celebrates an increase in tourism numbers
Peru is celebrating a significant growth in tourism arrivals for 2016. The latest Foreign Trade and Tourism Ministry figures report that 3,744,461 international tourists arrived in Peru last year, up by 8.4% from 2015. The 2016 visitor inflows from the UK increased by 9.6% year-on-year with 63,213 travellers in 2015 and 69,302 in 2016.
Nicaragua sees an increase in tourism numbers from the UK and Europe
In the first three months of 2017 (Jan-March), Nicaragua has seen a 9% increase in tourism arrivals with the share of European visitors to Nicaragua increasing by 3.3%. From the UK specifically, 2016 welcomed a 16% increase in UK visitors compared to 2015 with top destinations including Managua, Granada and Leon and Ometepe.
Visitor numbers to Costa Rica rise in the first quarter of 2017
Costa Rica has seen a 12.7% rise in UK visitors during the first three months of 2017. January 2017 welcomed the biggest increase in visitors from the UK with 8,085 Brits travelling to Costa Rica representing a year on year increase of 19.2%. www.visitcostarica.com
Air Europa introduces first direct flight to Honduras
Air Europa has launched the first ever flight from Madrid to San Pedro Sula in Honduras which will operate once a week. The outbound flight will depart from Madrid at 01.35 on Thursdays, arriving at 04.40 and the inbound flight will land in Madrid on Fridays at 05.15. Return flights are priced from £405 from London via Madrid with a flight time of approximately 18 hours.
United Airlines announces new service between New York and Buenos Aires
United Airlines has announced a new year-round daily, nonstop service between New York and Buenos Aires, Argentina, starting in October 2017. In addition, the airline is increasing its year-round, daily service to Bogota, Colombia, from New York, with an additional daily flight starting June 8 through August 14.
Aeromexico increases flights between London and Mexico City to daily nonstop service
Aeromexico has increased its service from six weekly flights to one daily flight between London and Mexico City. Outbound flights will leave London Heathrow at 22.35, arriving in Mexico City at 04.20 and inbound flights will leave Mexico City at 22.55, arriving into London at 16.50.
LATAM Airlines launch new connections from Lima and Santiago
In September 2017, LATAM will launch a new direct flight from Lima, Peru to Tucumán, Argentina. In October, it will also start operating a direct service from Santiago, Chile to three cities in Argentina – San Juan, Neuquén and Tucumán opening up the region futher for international visitors.
Awasi announces the opening of its newest lodge in Iguazu, Argentina
The Awasi Iguazu opens in December 2017. Located on the Argentinian side of the Iguazu Falls, the property will have 14 suites each featuring their own private plunge-pool and living room, as well as a bar and restaurant serving local delicacies. Each room will have a private guide and vehicle offering guests a tailor-made experience.
Tierra Hotels doubles the size of its Chiloé property
Tierra Hotels has announced that geometrically designed eco-hotel Tierra Chiloé is doubling in size from 12 rooms to 24. A new extension, designed by the original architects Mobil Arquitectos, is currently being developed, continuing with the sustainable design which reflects traditional local houses built on stilts over the water. The bold design of Tierra Chiloe highlights the ever-changing views of nearby islands and the distant mountains on the mainland.
New culinary experiences at Hotel B, Lima
Luxury Hotel B located in the Lima, Peru’s Barranco district, has launched new culinary experiences touring the gastronomic capital of Latin America. Guests will visit a local coffee shop called Tostaduria Bisetti to taste a variety of coffees made from different Peruvian coffee beans and will take a tour of the Mercado Local de San Isidro, one of the capital’s biggest markets to sample local fruit. The experience also includes a cocktail making course to learn how to make pisco sours. The full day gastronomic experience is priced from £161, a half day from £61 and the cocktail class from £46.
Tour Operator News
Aqua Expeditions launches new hosted departures for 2018
Aqua Expeditions has launched two new hosted departures for 2018 sailing down the Peruvian Amazon with Francesco Galli Zugaro, founder and CEO of Aqua Expeditions and Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, owner of Lima’s famed restaurant Malabar. On the journey with Francesco Galli Zugaro, guests will learn about his creative vision for launching the cruise company, explore his favourite excursions on the Peruvian Amazon including wildlife spotting, swimming and kayaking as well as visiting local communities and learning about Aqua Expeditions’ growth plans and sustainability projects. The limited-edition departure with chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino will offer an abundance of experiences including customised market tours, master cooking classes and an interactive Q&A with Pedro to learn about the growing Peruvian food scene. Prices start from £2,813 per person from 6-10 November 2017.
Premium gourmet journey to Argentina and Chile with South American Tours
South American Tours has unveiled a 20-day gourmet journey in Argentina and Chile. The trip starts in Buenos Aires where visitors will experience a real Argentinean BBQ after a tour of the main highlights of the vibrant city. Guests will then travel to Mendoza to visit the Norton winery and enjoy a locally inspired cooking class, before heading to Bariloche to admire the spectacular landscape of Pucón and relax by the shores of Nahuel Huapi Lake with the back drop of the Andes. The holiday continues to Chiloé Island located off the coast of southern Chile to visit a local market and taste cheese and oysters from the region. The price of the tour is available upon request.
Panama Trails offers Bocas Del Toro Chocolate Farm & Botanical Garden tour
Panama Trails is offering guests a new day tour visiting a chocolate farm and botanical garden at Green Acres, an eco-farm nestled on the south shore of Dolphin Bay in Bocas Del Toro. The tour includes an introduction to the history of the property, a hike in the stunning Panamanian rainforest and a visit to a chocolate factory to learn about the different stages of chocolate production. Visitors will also be given time to discover the islands surrounding Bocas Del Toro. The tour is priced from £64 per person.
Quito begins construction of new convention centre
Construction has begun on a new convention centre in the heart of the Andean capital of Quito, due to be completed in the second half of 2018. The new Metropolitan Convention Centre will feature two exhibition spaces with a capacity of over 4,000 people each, an auditorium with a capacity of 800 people, an event space with a capacity of 4,000 and several other work spaces. The project is set to position Quito as a leading destination for meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions both on a regional and international level. www.quito.com
Peru to host world’s most extreme marathon in November 2017 for the first time ever
In November 2017, for the first time ever, Peru will host the Marathon des Sables, an extreme running competition where more than 300 international participants spend six days racing 240 kilometres between Peru’s Nasca and the Paracas dunes. The Marathon Des Sables has been held in Morocco’s Sahara Desert for over 30 years and in 2017 Peru will be the first Latin American country to host the competition.
Peru to host Dakar rally cross-country motorsports marathon in January 2018
The 40th edition of the Dakar Rally, a cross-country motorsports marathon, will take place in Peru, Bolivia and Argentina from 6-20 January 2018. This will be the first time that Peru has hosted the race since 2012 and it is expected that the 2018 Dakar will provide an economic impact of $300 million dollars for Peru through lodging, food and drinks sales, and transportation.