- agents said that about 75% of their business was big ship cruises, all inclusive resorts and airline tickets
- for those that indicated a specialty, almost 67% said it was big ship cruises
- only .6% said that South America was their best-selling destination
Are you thinking about visiting your local travel agent to get help in planning a trip to South America? If so you might consider a recent survey about U.S. travel agents. The results of that survey indicate:
According to Tripadvisor, 71 percent of travelers plan to make eco-friendly choices in the next 12 months, in contrast to what was only 45 percent one year ago. In addition to this, 58 percent of travelers said their choices are affected by whether or not the hotel gives back to the local community, and 66 percent of global consumers prefer to buy products and services from brands that give back to society.
Here are some options that should appeal to that type of traveler:
I know that some people have the idea that a trip to the Amazon is a life-threatening experience for anybody, so they definitely would not want to bring their kids there. Well it could be dangerous if you went on your own and didn't know what you were doing. But if you go with a company that has good guides and a good program, it can be a safe and very entertaining and educational experience for kids. And kids seem to leave with a sense of pride because they leave the natural jungle feeling more connected to nature than they ever did back home in their concrete jungle.
My wife and I just got our new passports back and I was going through the little booklets that they sent along with the passports. They actually had some information that I thought would be quite useful to know in order to avoid problems or to help you out if you are already having problems.
With over 41 million international arrivals in 2015 and an average growth of 5%, Latin America’s travel and tourism industry has incredible potential to help generate growth, create jobs and enable regional development.
But which countries are best positioned to benefit most from the industry? You might not be surprised to find out that beautiful natural sceneries like the Iguassu Falls and iconic cultural landmarks like Machu Picchu aren’t the only factors that determine whether a destination is competitive.
So which are the 10 most competitive countries in Latin America? And more importantly, what do they all have in common?
For years, many of the big companies have been trying to get us to sell their group tours to South America. We have tried selling tours from a number of those companies, but without much success. An agent from one of those companies came by our office last week and I explained the difficulties we had in offering their tours. Among those problems were:
In a region as vast and as close to nature as South America, many outdoor voyagers will find a bevy of adventures to explore. The continent is known for some of the best, most scenic day hikes, as well as the most challenging surfing waves, but there are still other activities that – in a way – defy modern convention. These ventures are aimed to take you out of your comfort zone; making sure that after your trip you realize there’s more to life than just city tours and hotel stays.
Travel industry leaders are saying that “transformational travel” is the next evolution. It has similar elements of experiential travel, but taken a step further—it’s travel motivated and defined by a shift in perspective, self-reflection and development, and a deeper communion with nature and culture.
"The 1.8 billion Millennials worldwide do display some particular characteristics that influence their travel behavior", Sarah Catlett, Senior Vice President with global consultants Kantar Futures, told participants at a recent forum. For example, this “first global generation” seeks authenticity, is very adaptable yet also has come of age with a built-in expectation of having control of their activities. In travel terms, they want to experience new cultures, blend experiences across different types of trips, encounter and engage with local people and have authentic experiences, she explained. For destinations to attract Millennial travellers they have to be “genuine and creative”, offering a mix of adventure and relaxation, she advised.
That is an exact fit to travel to South America.
I am re-reading a book I had read years ago (Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice) and it got me to remembering when I was researching my first trip to the Amazon over 20 years ago. I had been reading trip reports at an office in Quito and read things like:
As a person who loves exploring, I have an interest in going to places that might not be big tourist destinations, but should be (at least I think so). But it seems that not many others find those places interesting. Would you be interested in visiting places like these?
20 years ago I traveled to the Chachapoyas region of Peru with a friend of mine and a group of others that he put together. At that time the government had it in it's 5 year plan to develop the area as the "Machu Picchu of the north". Peter Lerche, the German in the video below, which was published last month, showed us un-excavated ruins on many mountain tops (as he mentions in the video, only about 10% have been excavated now). I sent a group there a few years later and they got to visit a lost city that had only been discovered the week before they arrived. Since that time, some of the highest waterfalls in the world have been discovered and in 2013, 35 sarcophagi belonging to the Chachapoyas culture were found. Archaeologists believe that the sarcophagi – painted clay coffins placed upright above ground – were placed in a cemetery for children because the figures measure some 70 centimeters tall.
Jim has been an agent for over 20 years and has specialized in South America for much of that time