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Tourism this week in Latin America

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Grupo Posadas has busy expansion plans Latin American hotelier

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Grupo Posadas has busy expansion plans Latin American hotelier
Grupo Posadas plans to open 15 new hotels this year. “With a portfolio of 104 hotels and 19,042 guestrooms in fifty of the most sought after beach and city destinations throughout Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Chile, Grupo Posadas has well established its positioning as Latin America’s leading hotel operator,” says the company in a press release. The group opened seven hotels last year, including the debut of its modern lifestyle brand AQUA at AQUA Cancun. Scheduled to debut this spring is the Caesar Park Buenos Aires Obelisco, named for its location in front of the 220-foot monument standing in the heart of Buenos Aires. In the business and economy categories, Posadas’ Fiesta Inn and One Hotels will have 13 openings this year. A hospitality concept designed to meet the needs of frequent business travelers, Fiesta Inn will expand its portfolio from 58 to 66 offerings. The brand promotes comfort at affordable prices.

Strong investment for ski season
Nieves del Chapelco invested more than € 2.2 million to improve the quality of service at the San Martin de los Andes ski center and ensure customer’s enjoyment of skiing and the snow. Among the announced improvements, 8 snow-making machines will be purchased which will guarantee snow cover from 1,600 m to the base, an important area for skiers and snowboarders when the weather does not naturally provide enough coverage.

Aerolineas Argentinas increases frequencies to international destinations
After cancelling flights to Mexico and Cancun, and the temporary suspension of flights to New York, the scheduled itinerary for July foresees an increase of frequencies to almost all international destinations. Flights to Madrid will increase from 8 to 11 per week, to Barcelona from 2 to 3, to Rome from 4 to 5 and the intercontinental flight will be increased from 3 to 4. There will be 6 flights to Miami and the flights to New York will be resumed with 4 frequencies per week. Flights to Caracas will increase from 4 to 6 and to Bogota from 3 to 4.

Andes inaugurates flights to Tucuman
The Benjamin Matienzo airport received the inaugural flight of ANDES airlines. The aircraft transported 167 passengers including senators, officials, journalists and businessmen who had been invited by the company.

Entry of foreigners to the Amazon will be limited to protect ecosystem
The minister of Justice has recently informed of an immigration bill, which seeks to control the entry of foreigners into the Amazon to prevent them from committing illegal acts.

Air Europa will end flights to Rio de Janeiro
The airline informed that as of May 9th it will no longer operate the three frequencies between Madrid and Rio de Janeiro due to low occupancy. The four frequencies between Madrid and Salvador will continue, and the airline is negotiating new frequencies from Recife.

LAB announces resumption of operations
The general manager of LAB announced that the airline’s operations will be resumed within 10 days. The Superintendent of Transportation delivered the renewed license, valid for two years, to LAB executives, enabling the company to operate national and international commercial flights.

More than 350 thousand tourists travel from Urubamba to Machu Picchu by rail per year
Andean Railways informed that more than 350 thousand tourists take the train from Urubamba to Machu Picchu annually. The company plans to operate the route as of July with reduced fares. Urubamba has the highest concentration of hotels. This service will focus on responding to the demand of intermediate sector tourists that travel the route to Machu Picchu.

Promotion of experiential tourism in Colca Valley to attract more visitors
Experiential tourism in the Colca Valley (Arequipa) is a reality thanks to the support of the AECI (the Spanish Agency of International Cooperation) which has enabled the restoration and preparation of 15 lodgings to accommodate visitors. The district is promoting the Sibayo touristic corridor, which includes not only the experience of living with a rural family for a few days, but also sharing their home, food and customs. Furthermore, there will be canoeing, trekking and visits to the archaeological sites of the district. The accommodation service will be US$ 20 per night.

Casa Andina enters northern Peru
The hotel chain Casa Andina concluded negotiations to begin redesigning its first property in Trujillo. The hotel belongs to the Casa Andina Classic brand and will be inaugurated next year.

San Agustin Chain would open hotels in the north and the jungle in the next two years
The San Agustin Hotel Chain is assessing its entry into the north and the jungle between 2009 and 2010 due to the increased flow of tourism. Possibilities in Trujillo, Cajamarca, Madre de Dios, Tarapoto, Junin and Ilo are being studied.

Resumption of Aerocondor’s operations in Nasca and Ica Authorized
Aerocondor resumed its operations in Nasca and Ica. The airline complied with the suspension of its operations as determined by the DGAC (the General Directorate of Civil Aviation) who applied the laws and strict proceedings as a means to restrain the problems occurring in the touristic service of that area.

Hotel chain projects continue to develop
Projects in the hotel sector continue their course. Within this outlook, the investments made by chains such as Royal, Accor and Marriot, among others, stand out. They have decided to aim at the local market through construction, land acquisition and employment generation. So far this year, the average hotel occupancy in the country has been 65 percent and the regions in which the 5-star category stands out have been Bogota with 70.8 percent, Cartagena with 66.5 percent, Norte de Santander with 62.5 percent and Antioquia with 58 percent. Regarding expansion and investment in new establishments, Cotelco states that a total of 72 hotels will be constructed between 2008 and 2011, with the entrance of 7,918 rooms in the national market, enabling the promotion of the country’s touristic activity.

US$ 500 million would be invested in hotels between 2008 and 2010
Approximately 15,000 new rooms are being planned for those years, which is a 20 percent increase in the hotel offer since there are currently 120,000 rooms in the country. The president of the Hotelier Association affirmed that almost US$ 500 million are being invested in hotel construction and remodeling.

Aero Republica will offer flights between Medellin, Bogota and Caracas
As of May 24th, Aero Republica will offer direct connections between Medellin and Caracas, as well as between Bogota and Caracas.

Aeropostal resumes national operations
Aeropostal resumed operations of national flights after the INAC (the National Institute of Civil Aviation) ordered the temporary suspension of its services until it complied with its air safety manuals.

Enlargement of the Panama Canal will increase passage of cruise ships
The traffic capacity of cruise ships will increase with the enlargement of the Panama Canal, informed the Panama Canal Authority (ACP, for its acronym in Spanish). According to its estimates, with the passage of new Postpanamax embarkations, the capacity of passenger traffic via the inter-oceanic route will increase by 52,600 passengers during cruise season, which lasts from October to May.

Qatar will invest US$ 70 million in luxury hotel
Cuba and Qatar signed a memorandum of understanding to build a five-star hotel worth US$ 70 million in Cayo Largo del Sur, one of the most beautiful islets of the Cuban archipelago. Three other sites in Cuba have been identified for future undertakings.

1,000 tourists visit Cienfuegos daily
Cienfuegos is a favorite destination for tourists from all over the world. Daily, more than one thousand visitors are attracted to this place where several investments in tourism are planned. The industry authorities have stated that this is because visitors arrive for the patrimonial attractions, beaches and the beauty of the Jagua Bay. Investments are planned for the San Carlos hotel, the incorporation of new facilities in the Hoteles Encanto project, and foreign investments in urban areas.

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Editor in chief is Linda Hohnholz.