Latin America updates travel trade

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Fam trips for travel agents and tour operators to Colombia and Panama are being planned for September, it has been announced.

DMCs working with UK-based Branding Latin America will be holding the trips, with the Colombia version tying with its travel mart.

The trips were announced at Branding Latin America’s update to the travel trade today at the Bulgari London hotel, where hotel developer Inkaterra said it hopes all three of its properties will be under the Relais & Chateaux name by the year-end. It also hinted at a second hotel opening in Cusco but warned that strict building plans would mean it would take years until it is launched.

Meanwhile in Chile, VIK hotels is constructing a wine lodge at its Millahue VIK property which it hopes will open in September 2013. The company is also looking to develop hotels across South America particularly Argentina and Brazil, following the success of its Uruguay and Chile properties.

In Brazil, travel company Dehouche hailed Trancoso as ‘the one to watch’ as it is yet to receive an international chain hotel. Company director Iman Irvine said she expects companies such as Mandarin Oriental and Four Seasons to open in the area eventually, while Fasano has already confirmed it will open a hotel there in 2015. In the more familiar Rio de Janeiro, the Hotel Gloria Palace is currently undergoing a US$150m renovation which will finish in 2014.

In related news, the city of Iquitos in Peru now has connections from Panama City, which will commence on 14 July. The flights will operate on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

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