The South American economic miracle is impacting travel. Described as a “tale of two Americas where travel trends are concerned,” the latest ITB World Travel Trends sees the 2011 South American market as buoyant, whereas international arrivals in North America rose only slightly and U.S. travel abroad was weak.
Boosted by the strong economic performance of countries such as Brazil and Argentina, South America’s domestic and international travel markets registered high double-digit growth. In America, economic uncertainty dampened many U.S. citizens’ desire for travel. Trips to North America increased slightly over the last eight months, whereas international travel remained at last year’s levels. For next year, UNWTO forecasts a 4 to 5 percent increase in international tourists from the Americas, compared with 6.4 percent in 2010.
By contrast, many countries in South America continues to boom.
Even if growth rates have now slowed when compared with previous years, during the past eight months trips abroad by South Americans increased by 15 percent. Brazilians were particularly keen to travel. With the help of a robust domestic economy and strong currency they spent 45 percent more on trips abroad than in 2010. Relatively young, well educated and wealthy travelers are characteristic of South America’s three burgeoning markets, those of Brazil, Argentina and Mexico.
The arrival of more low-cost airlines in South America will further increase the number of long-haul trips. Many holidaymakers who travel abroad have also put South America at the top of their wish list. International arrivals increased by 13 percent, while trips to the Caribbean and Central America rose by a lowly 4 percent each.
The difficult economic times currently experienced by many Americans is also reflected in how they take holidays. The focus is increasingly on price awareness and travel bargains. “Staycationers” either remain at home altogether or go on holiday locally.
Only 23 percent of U.S. citizens intend to take more trips abroad next year, 28 percent aim to take less, while 23 percent have no plans at all to travel abroad next year.
The U.S. inbound market registered only slight growth.
During the last eight months, the number of international arrivals rose by only 3 percent, compared with 7 percent in 2010.
The findings are based on the assessments of 50 tourism experts from 30 countries, on a special IPK International trend analysis undertaken in leading source markets, and on core data supplied by the World Travel Monitor, recognized as the largest ongoing survey of global travel trends in some 60 source countries. The findings reflect trends which emerged during the first eight months of 2011.
American Airlines said that it is expanding its Venezuela service by increasing the number of weekly flights between New York and Caracas. Starting Nov. 18, American will add three flights per week between John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York and Simon Bolivar International Airport (CCS) in Caracas, offering flights on the route five days per week, up from two days per week.
American flies the route with a Boeing 757 aircraft with 188 seats.
The 90-passenger Le Levant will take in several off-the-main-stream stops on its four roundtrip sailings from the west coast of Martinique.
Ports are spread throughout Grenada, Venezuela, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Fares are available at a 20 percent savings under Ponant’s Bonus program. The more in advance the booking, the greater the savings. Reduced fares start at $2,571 per person, double, for the Nov. 5 and Nov. 26 departures, and $2,420 for the March 20 and March 27, 2012, departures. For more information, call 888-400-1082 or visit www.ponant.com
Aeromexico will start direct flights between Mexico City and Caracas, as part of international expansion plan announced by the company earlier this year. The flights will be operated on the latest model of the Boeing 737 with a convenient schedule to enable all passengers to connect to the network of national and international destinations that the airline offers, including more than 40 cities within Mexico, 15 in the U.S. and Canada, three in Europe and two in Asia. For more information, visit www.aeromexico.com
Collette Vacations is introducing its newest South America tour, “Wonders of South America,” which is created in a modular or building-block form that allows clients to choose among different itinerary components.
The new product offers the option of purchasing a Brazilian Amazon pre-extension and/or Machu Picchu and Peru post-extension.
In addition, the 11-day tour may be extended to 16 days with the addition of Chile, featuring a Lake Crossing of the Andes, Chilean Wine Country and the sights of Santiago, Chile’s capital city. With this product, Collette is introducing a modular concept of a tour in which clients are offered a shorter base tour with many options, Collette has made it easy for travel agents to custom tailor an unforgettable and comprehensive South American vacation for their clients based on budget and desired length of vacation stay.
“We created this new tour to be customizable and to uncover the many marvels of South America – its beauty, culture, history, cuisine, entertainment, and geography,” said Allison Flint, Collette’s product manager. “We’ve included the most sought-after attractions like a visit to Iguazu Falls and Rio’s Christ the Redeemer statue with culinary experiences like learning how to craft the famous caipriniha cocktail and indulging in a Brazilian-style barbeque at a renowned ‘Churrascaria’ restaurant.”
In addition to the experience of viewing Iguazu Falls’ “Devil’s Throat” from a platform perch, other tour highlights include a tango lesson in Buenos Aires; a train ride to the top of Rio’s Corcovado Mountain to see the statue of Christ the Redeemer, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World; and a tour of Mendoza, the lovely Argentinean city within the shadows of the Andes Mountains and the ideal base for exploring the Caminos del Vino wine route. Guests also experience Argentina’s most famous wine, Malbec, during a gourmet wine pairing lunch and visits to bodegas in Mendoza.
The new program is available to book now with departures beginning in May 2012. The starting at price for the 11-day Wonders of South America tour is $2,599 per person double, land only. For more information and details of the pre- and post-extension options and alternate Chile itinerary, call 800-340-5158.
For information, call 800-611-3361 or visit www.collettevacations.com
The offer is good on new bookings made by Aug. 31 on cruises by both Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity. The savings is double the published amount of previous “bonus” promotions for the seven voyages.
The offer includes complimentary air transportation from 24 North American gateways (or an air credit), plus $500-per-person shipboard credit.
The “double bonus savings” is 57 to 62 percent off brochure fares.
Eligible cruises include Panama Canal/Caribbean sailings as follows:
Jan. 4 to 17, Los Angeles to Miami; Jan. 4 to 18, Miami to Los Angeles; Jan. 17 to 27, Miami to Caldera, Costa Rica; Jan. 27 to Feb. 6, Caldera to Miami; and April 21 to May 8, Los Angeles to New York City.
In South America, eligible cruises are the Feb. 6 to 20 sailing from Miami to Rio de Janeiro and the March 3 to 19 Buenos Aires-to-Miami cruise.
Both include an overnight in Rio.
GOGO Vacations has added South America to its product range, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Peru hotel offers, sightseeing and escorted tours. The Worldwide Collection product line already consisting of Australia, South Pacific, Thailand, China, Dubai and Maldives is available through the Worldwide Collection Team at 888-565-7348. As part of GOGO’s South America Launch, if you book by March 31 for travel March 1 to Dec. 18, you can save up to 35 percent and receive free nights, guaranteed room upgrades, daily breakfast and more. For more information, including a complete list of GOGO’s South America hotels, offers and brochure, visit www.gogoworldwidevacations.com
Abercrombie & Kent has announced the release of the 2011 Latin America & Antarctica portfolio. The brochure provides personally customised bespoke programmes throughout Latin America and unique expeditionary cruising in Antarctica.
Latin America is a region of dramatic contrasts overrun with natural wonders, a colourful and varied heritage and warm, passionate people at every turn. A decade spent refining how to deliver an unequalled holiday experience ensures A&K delivers the very best there is.
Sujata Raman, Abercrombie & Kent Managing Director says, “Despite a year of challenges including natural disasters within the region and financial trials, Latin America is back and firing on all cylinders. There’s a destination to suit all interests and at any time of the year.”
Acknowledging the centenary of the rediscovery of Machu Picchu by American explorer Hiram Bingham in 2011, Abercrombie & Kent Managing Director Sujata Raman says, “Because of this milestone, we anticipate heightened interest in travel to Peru. Machu Picchu is also one of the three Latin American ‘New’ wonders of the world and should be at the top of everyone’s bucket list. When the artefacts excavated from the site are returned to Cusco our guests will be there to see them.”
Hotels & Cruises
The MV Aria joins classy sister ship, MV Aqua, on the Peruvian Amazon in April 2011. The intimate vessel plays host to just 32 guests catered for in a style not readily anticipated in the depths of the jungle. These luxury vessels deliver experiences beyond the ordinary and to that end employ only the most adept guides from the region to share the unique wildlife experiences. Food and wine are also key elements of the journey and one of Peru’s leading chefs designs all the menus with strong local influences using Amazonian produce. The cruises operate for 3, 4 and 7 nights year-round beginning or ending in Iquitos. A 4-day cruise onboard MV Aqua starts at US$2400.
On the desert coast of Peru, Starwood’s Luxury Collection has opened the 120 room Hotel Paracas. A beachfront location makes this the perfect base for explorations in the area to the Ballestas Islands marine reserve, best done by yacht, and the mysterious Nazca Lines, visible only from the air. A&K’s 4 day Paracas Extension priced from $2030 includes 3 nights at Hotel Paracas.
There’s a new way to explore the Galapagos Islands – from the comfort of a safari tent! Galapagos Safari Camp is the first eco-luxury camp in Ecuador and offers a unique land-based alternative to the traditional cruise product. Located on a farm in the highlands there’s much to do from walking, bird watching and cycling to horse riding, kayaking, diving and snorkelling. It’s family friendly with home-style comforts. A&K’s 4 day Galapagos Safari Camp Extension priced from $2635 includes 3 nights at Galapagos Safari Camp.
The latest luxe lodging in the Chilean capital, W Santiago, is the epitome of style and sophistication. The signature ‘W’ bed is heaven, the rooms are spacious and some of the city’s finest restaurants are on site. A&K’s 10 day Inside Chile priced from $9895 includes 2 nights at the W Santiago.
On the shores of one of Chile’s most scenic lakes sits Hotel Cumbres Patagonicas. Its 92 rooms offer breathtaking views, some with private terrace, and there’s a spa and pool. A&K’s 12 day Best of Chile & Argentina priced from $9635 includes 2 nights at Hotel Cumbres Patagonicas.
More boutique pousada than luxury hotel, Villa Bahia in Brazil’s Salvador is set right in the heart of Pelourinho, the UNESCO World Heritage Old Town. Two adjoining colonial mansions have been thoughtfully renovated and now offer 17 bright and colourful rooms. A&K’s 9 day Best of Brazil priced from $6220 includes 3 nights at Villa Bahia.
Sunseekers and partygoers alike will love A&K’s new offering in Buzios. Insolito Buzios is a chic and stylish boutique hotel with glorious views over the peninsula. There are two swimming pools, boats and bicycles to keep guests active and for indulgence an on-site wellness centre. A 4-day jaunt here is priced from $1755.
More remote and intimate, Ponta dos Ganchos on Brazil’s south coast is perfect for honeymooners. 25 bungalows have private decks and hammocks to while away the hours plus there’s tennis, nature trails and diving for the more active. A 4-day stay here is priced from $1845.
Consistently rated as having some of the best beaches in the world, Mexico’s Riviera Maya is home to Maroma Resort & Spa. Also highly acclaimed this property has a glorious setting between beach and jungle with fresh white interiors and local artworks scattered throughout. A&K’s 4 day Riviera Maya Extension priced from $1185 includes 3 nights at Maroma Resort & Spa.
Named on the latest U.N. List of Intangible Cultural Heritage thanks to its famous culinary customs, Mexico is hot and happening right now and it has been rated in A&K’s Top 10 destinations for 2011. There are colonial attractions aplenty; ancient archaeological sites, galleries and craft studios, a rich gastronomy, tropical jungle and golden beaches. A&K’s 13 day Mexico Discovered priced from $9715 includes a cross-section of the country’s major attractions staying in stylish lodgings throughout.
Neighbouring countries, Peru and Ecuador make the perfect combination for the luxury traveller in South America. Each blessed with outstanding natural wonders they also have cultural attractions aplenty, exquisite hotels and A&K offices on the ground to ensure smooth sailing. Highlights include the many delights of Cusco, Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley, a Galapagos cruise, Quito and the rural attractions of Otavalo. A&K’s 17 day Best of Peru & Ecuador is priced from $16,340.
Down south Chile and Argentina are a logical pairing offering sophisticated cities, impressive gastronomic credentials, breathtaking scenery and jaw-dropping natural wonders. The countries are linked with a specially tailored Lake Crossing with VIP catamaran sailing and the finest hotels are included. Highlights include Santiago and its wine regions with an exclusive market visit and cooking demonstration, the Lake District, Bariloche, Buenos Aires with an urban archaeological experience and Iguazu Falls. A&K’s 12 day Best of Chile & Argentina is priced from $9635.
Contrasting attractions in Chile are the appeal of A&K’s 4 day Vineyards & Valparaiso priced from $2440. It showcases the Casablanca Valley wine growing district and the charming port city of Valparaiso. There are three delightful boutique hotels featured including The Aubrey which nestles in magnificent Art Deco splendour in Santiago’s bohemian Bellavista and is one of only a handful of boutique hotels to arrive in the Chilean capital.
Wine enthusiasts will relish A&K’s Mendoza Extension priced from $3965 which commences with a spectacular all day drive across the Andes from Santiago into Argentina’s famous wine-growing region. Guests bed down at the sophisticated Cavas Wine Lodge and there are tastings at some of the finest wineries around and some really special dining experiences.
Guests staying in Rio seeking a contrasting experience to the norm will be intrigued by the city’s favelas (slum district) on a tour revealing the other side of life as a Carioca. It is colourful and absorbing and a fascinating insight into the commercial and personal lives of the slum dwellers. A&K’s 9 day Best of Brazil includes the opportunity to visit the favelas, the iconic Statue of Christ the Redeemer, enjoy dinner with a local Carioca artist, and visit beaches in Salvador and the spectacular waterfalls in Iguassu National Park and Brazilian & Argentine Falls. The price commences at $6220.
CONTACT: Justin Laycob
SEATTLE, Wash.—South America is a land of endless fascination and exquisite beauty, and travel specialists predict that travelers will continue to be captivated by South American destinations in 2011. Southern Explorations, a company that specializes in unforgettable adventures to South America says there are some major South American travel trends to look out for this year:
Argentina is ‘Caliente’
According to Justin Laycob, owner of Southern Explorations, bookings for Argentina tours have almost doubled since the previous year. This trend can be attributed to the fact that Argentina is closer to the U.S (with no time changes) and it’s a great value for people who want a European feel without a European price tag. Also, Argentina has some extremely popular wines and the possibilities for outdoor adventure activities like world-class hiking, glacier exploration, and exploring Argentina’s stunning lakes and landscapes are endless.
“Argentina has really been surprising our guests. They have been blown away by the astounding diversity of activities that are available in the country, from the culinary delights to outdoor adventures and the fascinating cultures,” says Laycob. “Argentina is a large location geographically, but our guests have still been packing in a lot activities within a short time. All of them have been pleasantly surprised at how smoothly and quickly they have been able to visit so many areas of Argentina.”
Exploring the Galapagos…by Land
Galapagos land-based tours are becoming increasingly popular with travelers right now. Travelers just don’t want to be stuck on a boat anymore; they want to be on foot, exploring this famous destination in a more “front row seat” kind of way. Also, tourism seems to be transforming the job market in the local communities there, especially with the emergence of the land-based tours because travelers are on land for longer periods of time. This is quite different from the hop-on and off tourists that previously visited for brief periods of time. The land-based Galapagos tours are also attractive to active travelers who want to stretch their legs and get a good workout while exploring a once in a lifetime destination.
Venturing Outdoors in Brazil
Brazil has been in the world spotlight for quite a while. It’s always been known for exciting Carnival, the economy is booming, and with the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics taking place in 2016, the country is gearing up for a boost in tourism. But what makes Brazil even more enticing is the potential for outdoor adventure travel. Adventure travelers in Brazil have plentiful choices for unique itineraries like combining the classic sights and sounds of Rio with adventures like an easy climb up to famous Corcavado Mountain coupled with panoramic sightseeing during a ride down the mountain’s gondola. Also, surfing, yoga, mountain biking and hiking in the Southern Brazil’s “New Rio” –Florianopolis—would be a dream trip for adventure vacationers. Of course, enjoying the distinct culinary delights in Brazil along with the cultures in the various regions add plenty of appeal to Brazil as an adventure vacation destination.
Southern Explorations offers dozens of different ways to explore the mountains, islands, jungles and beaches of Argentina, Brazil, the Galapagos Islands, and other destinations in South America. To find out more, visit www.southernexplorations.com
Detour, The Adventure Travel Marketplace is a unique online adventure travel marketplace that makes it easy for travelers to travel with the top locally run, sustainable travel companies and tour operators in South America and Central America, while saving money by paying their local prices.
Travelers skip paying the overhead fees often charged by larger tour companies while ensuring that their travel dollars truly contribute to the local economy of the destination.
Best of all, travelers who visit Detour’s website will find a one-stop-shop of trips that would fulfill any adventurers travel “dream list”. From cycling and diving tours to horseback riding and rafting,
Detour’s marketplace makes planning a once in a lifetime tour a truly exciting adventure. www.detourdestinations.com
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