Archive | South America

Orbitz listed Cancun as the most popular international destination for American tourists

The Cancun Convention & Visitors Bureau reports that Cancun is the only international destination ranked on Orbitz’s Top 10 Summer Travel Destinations list. This is the 2nd consecutive year that Cancun was ranked the number one international destination on the Orbitz Insider Index Summer Travel report.

Beach in Cancún
Beach in Cancún (photo courtesy of wikipedia)

The Orbitz survey showed that 77% of Americans have summer travel plans this year. While the top destinations were cities within the United States, Cancun has the honor of being the only international destination to make it into the list’s top-ten. Known for its breathtaking turquoise waters and white sand beaches, Cancun ranked #10 overall. Continue Reading

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Peru’s Machu Picchu reopens to public after two months

The ancient Inca ruins site Machu Picchu, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, reopened to visitors Thursday after a two-month closure due to a storm.

Tourism Vice Minister Mara Seminario said that hundreds of foreign visitors entered the ruins following the morning reopening, as an early downpour gave way to brilliant sunshine.

Local officials said the entire route is expected to reopen in June. Until then, tourists can take the bus from Cusco to Piscachuco and from there, they can take the train to Machu Picchu Pueblo at the base of the ruins.

Heavy rains battered Cusco in January and caused mud- and rockslides which blocked the main roads and rail tracks. The ensuing flooding of Vilcanota River damaged buildings and a bridge, trapping some 4,000 tourists and causing some 240 millions U.S. dollars in economic losses.

The access to Machu Picchu has been restricted until April because of repair work.

Machu Picchu, also known as “the Lost City of the Incas,” is the most famous tourist attraction in Peru, and is located 80 km northwest of the southern Peruvian city Cusco.

The American historian Hiram Bingham was the first one to draw international attention to the Inca ruins in 1911. Machu Picchu welcomes around one million visitors per year, with an average of 2000 to 2500 daily visitors.

The American actress Susan Sarandon attended the reopening ceremony at the invitation of Peru’s Trade and Tourism Minister Martin Perez to promote tourism in Cusco after the disasters.

Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia

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Peru caters to tourists with gastronomic delights

There are already quite a number of theme tours in the category of cultural tourism; eco-tourism is a popular example.

The Peruvians, however, have come up with an unusual variation: gastronomical tourism. Gastronomical tourism will boost the country’s tourism sector, which is well-known for its archaeological and historical interest.

“The gastronomical tourism will be consolidated this year,” Peru’s Tourism Minister Martin Perez declared. “We could magnify it by linking archaeological (tourism) and historical tourism to gastronomy.”

Peru, whose cuisine is considered one of the most diverse in the world, is to invite tourists to taste the various Peruvian dishes apart from visiting the museums.

Though the Peruvian cuisine is acclaimed as being on a par with the French, Chinese and Indian cuisines, foreign visitors normally do not come to Peru to sample its cuisine. Continue Reading

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Mexico now uses Google Maps to revive tourism

The Mexican government and Google Mexico on Tuesday signed an agreement on providing Google with Mexico’s cultural heritage information to help revive tourism.

Under their arrangement, the National Anthropology and History Institute (INAH) will provide photographs, videos and other information to Google Mexico. INAH will also provide maps and floor plans for its museums, archeological areas and historical monuments.

Google Maps will offer visitors a tour guide to take them to different cultural destinations in Mexico.

John Farrel, head of Google Mexico, said that before deciding to buy or travel, people often access the Internet to get information, so this program will make tours in Mexico convenient and accessible.

In Mexico, some 27 million people or 85 percent of Mexico’s Internet population, use Google’s tools.

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Mexico opens wider to Chinese tourists, more improvement still needed

Mexican government has taken concrete steps to make it easier for Chinese citizens to visit Mexico, but major improvement is still needed, a senior tourism official said Thursday.

Mexico has scrapped visa requirement for Chinese nationals living in Macao and allowed Mexican consulates in China to process visa applications, said Alejandro Rojas, head of Mexico City’s Tourism Department.

It has also extended visas for both tourist and business visitors to a maximum term of 10 years and a maximum 180 days for the visa holders to stay in Mexico, said the Mexican official.

In order to promote Mexican tourism, the Mexican government has eased visa restrictions for technicians and business people from other parts of China, and put up signs in Chinese at international airports in Tijuana and Mexico City, in addition to training 16 Chinese-speaking staff members, Rojas said.

Rojas added that the achievements are the results of the efforts by Mexico’s National Migration Agency during the first Mexico-China International Tourism Congress, which was held on March 18-22 in Mexico City. Continue Reading

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Campaign launched to promote tourism in Amazon Rainforest area

The Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO) Wednesday launched a campaign to promote tourism in the Amazon Rainforest area.

The Amazon Rainforest area occupies over 7.5 million square kilometers, about 40 percent of South America’s territory, but it does not attract as many tourists as it could.

In order to attract tourists, both domestic and foreign, the ACTO will promote, during the next year, over 80 events in the eight countries in which the Amazon River Basin is located: Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela. Continue Reading

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