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July 26, 2011 14:39:14

Fiestas Patrias show economic potential of domestic tourism in Peru

Buses bound for Huancayo (Photo: El Comercio) 


It’s fair to say that the stereotypical tourist in Peru is a foreigner. Mention tourism here, and people will imagine the Israeli backpacking on the Inca trail, the young German mountain climbing in Huaraz, the retired British couple bird-watching in Manu, or the American college students at Calle de las Pizzas. They will probably not think about the family from Surco visiting Huancayo.

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April 20, 2011 8:49:25

Young and French, she bet on crepes in Peru

Beso Frances, crepes in Peru
Samantha Lafosse-Marin, 26, French, expecting, and quietly starting a crepe empire in Peru. (Photo: Juan Ponce/El Comercio)
Here's the story behind Beso Frances, Peru's first crepe chain.

By Antonio Orjeda, El Comercio
Translated by Lucia Subauste

She closed 2010 with revenues she couldn't have predicted not even in her most optimistic projections – and that's after her walk-by stands opened “late” in September, October and November, says a smiling Samantha Lafosse-Marin.

Born in the island of Martinique, France, she is 26 with a belly that gives away her happy state of pregnancy. Beso Frances, French Kiss, is the name she created last summer at Asia Boulevard with Mónica Suárez, her business partner and sister-in-law. They’ve got stands at Jockey Plaza, Open Plaza Angamos and Regatas Club.

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January 26, 2011 15:08:43

Real estate market for Lima beaches heats up

Construction of beach condos south of Lima tripled in 2010 compared to 2009. Here, a house at Cala de Mar beach at Kilometer 87 of the Panamericana Sur highway is offered for sale at the real estate site

By Alejandra Costa La Cruz, El Comercio
Translated from Spanish by Nathan Paluck

The real estate market for Peru's exclusive beach condos south of Lima have heated up to suffocating temperatures this year.

In 2010, 367 beach houses were built in the districts of San Antonio, Mala, Asia and Cerro Azul, according to the latest report by Colliers International, a worldwide real estate consultancy. These numbers eclipse 2009 construction by three times, a year that saw the 118 new units.

The strength of construction activity has reached such a level that 234 new houses were built in the district of Asia alone, almost double that of 2009. The information gathered by Colliers shows a real estate boom that has reached 51 private beach clubs, with a strong concentration in Asia and the new center of the development south of Lima: Cerro Azul.

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November 18, 2010 11:44:49

La Rioja to build more hotels in Peru after 10-years of JW Marriott

Alfonso Brazzini at the 10 year celebration of JW Marriott in Lima, Peru. (Photo: TNews)

By Alberto Villar Campos,
El Comercio
Adapted from Spanish by Diana Schwalb

The Marriott hotel in Lima recently celebrated its tenth anniversary and redecorated all 300 rooms, common spaces and restaurants . Now finished, it is time to look into the future. Alfonso Brazzini Díaz Ufano, general manager of Inversiones La Rioja, the company that operates the Marriot, says the outlook is very good. Here Brazzini talks about the Marriott's entrance into Cusco and new projects in Lima.

Are problems in Cusco over?
We have all the permits we should have and, fortunately, we have managed to clean a very bad image that some political groups tried to create for us. We have complied with every requirement and built responsibly because we have the name Marriott to protect.

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October 20, 2010 15:00:44

Interview: Star Peru continues to expand regional flights

Star Peru airlines
Roman Kasianov, left, talks about expanding

By Alberto Villar Campos, El Comercio
Adapted from Spanish by Ross Knutson

Roman Kasianov, general manager of Star Peru, did not discard that in the future his company could merge with a larger airline. “It is an attractive option for anybody,” he said. Nevertheless, his current goal is to secure a space for Star Peru in the airline industry with the opening of new regional routes in Latin America such as to Cuenca or Río Branco – not very attractive for larger carriers – and, at the same time, improve its market share in chartered flights for the mining and oil and gas sectors. With a fleet of eight planes, the company that was founded by his father 13 years ago plans to reinitiate flights between Iquitos and Leticia, Colombia by the end of 2010.

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September 29, 2010 15:16:33

INTERVIEW: The manager of Lima's new Hotel Westin

A stylized image of the Hotel Westin Lima, to open later this year. Read an interview with its architect, Bernardo Fort-Brescia.
By Jimena Villavicencio, El Comercio
Adapted from Spanish by Diana Concha

Paul Ingebretsen, born in Florida, has managed hotels in the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Guatemala. He was recently named general manager of the Hotel Westin, soon to be opened in Lima. Here he tells us in detail about the Westin’s progress and his vision of tourism in Latin America.

Coming to manage a hotel of a 13 million dollar investment is a great opportunity. What is your objective in this new challenge?

First, what caught my attention and the reason why I decided to come is Peru’s future growth. This really attracted me. Second, it was Grupo Brescia and their plans for growth. The most important thing will be to make Westin Lima the most important hotel in the country. That is what I will try to achieve with the 30 years of experience I have in the industry.

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September 13, 2010 10:30:10

INTERVIEW: The success behind Peru's best new hostel

Kokopelli's new hostel in Máncora. (Photo courtey Kokopelli)

By Chris Maloney

I have been traveling through South America for the last 12 months now and I have stayed at more hostels than I care to remember, and they all tend to blur into one.

But there is one that has stood out from all the rest: Hostel Kokopelli in Miraflores, Lima, Peru.

And I am not the only one. Hostel World has frequently named Hostel Kokopelli as the number one hostel in Peru. Not a mean feat for a hostel that has only been open for just over a year. And now building on the success of the Lima hostel, the Kokopelli team has just opened a second hostel in the beachside paradise, Mancora.

So I asked Rutger Bosker, one of the owners and managers of Hostel Kokopelli, how they do it.

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July 26, 2010 11:46:27

Lima Airport Partners weathers a turbulent year and looks to expand

In 2001, Lima Airport Partners won a 30-year concession to operate Lima's Jorge Chavez Airport. 2010 has been a turbulent year, with the Cusco rains affecting tourism, and the Chile earthquake and volcanic ash in Europe disrupting business flights. However, domestic travel has increased, notes Jaime Daly, general manager of Lima Airport Partners. In this interview, Daly talks about the company's efforts to expand services in Jorge Chavez airport.

Jaime Daly, head of Lima Airports Partners. (Photo: Dante Piaggio/El Comercio)

By Marcela Mendoza Riofrío, El Comercio
Adapted from Spanish by Diana Schwalb

The year 2010, at least the first half, has been a tough period for the tourist sector, which has surely affected the flow in the airport. Many unforeseen events have come up…

Yes, this year is very complicated. January and February were positive, but then the rains in Cusco happened and tourists canceled their trips. Luckily, the government started the Cusco Pone program and domestic tourists increased their visits by 1.4%. But then the most important international route, Lima-Santiago, was affected by the earthquake. And last, the volcanic ash cloud made the northern tourist cancel his trip. Those three factors, added to the slow economic recovery in the U.S., have affected international traffic. We are, however, very hapy with the 22% increase in the national tourist flow.

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June 28, 2010 12:05:43

Hotel sector in Peru must look beyond Cusco, says head of Casa Andina

By Alberto Villar Campos, El Comercio
Adapted from Spanish by Diana Schwalb

Juan Stoessel, director of Casa Andina. (Photo: Enrique Cúneo/El Comercio)

In only seven years, the hotel chain Casa Andina has achieved what most businesses dream of: aggressive growth. The company currently has 18 hotels in Lima, Arequipa, Ica, Puno and Cusco that serve guests from the corporate and tourism sector. The newest, the Sausal, was recently inaugurated in Chincha, and by the end of the year, another hotel will be opened in the San José estate.

Juan Stoessel, head of Casa Andina, thinks there is an oversupply of hotels in Cusco, caused by the hunger on the part of hotel entrepreneurs. The solution? Find new destinations.

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June 15, 2010 12:30:53

Andezoo sells stuffed animal llamas and a story about Peru

By Vanessa Antúnez, El Comercio
Adapted from Spanish by Diana Schwalb

Raimi Llama lives in Machu Picchu and is in love with Sumak Vicuña, who works at a hotel in Cusco. This is one of the stories that Claudio Lari and Arturo Velásquez tell tourists and people that enter their newly inaugurated store in Larcomar mall in Lima, Peru.

Arturo Velásquez and Claudio Lari, cousins and creators of the Andezoo stuffed animals. (Photo: Consuelo Vargas/El Comercio)
Three years ago, the creators of the brand AndeZoo began designing stuffed animal llamas, alpacas, vicuñas and  guanacos — the four cameloid specied in South America. Now their production line has extended to mugs, key chains, t-shirts, picture frames, mouse pads. Lari and Velásquez are convinced that what they sell are not just souvenirs. Here, we talk with Claudio Lari (shown on the right in the photo) who leads Andezoo's marketing.

You used to work at a store in the Jorge Chávez airport. Was that what motivated you to start a business aimed towards foreign tourists?
Yes, I knew I had to sell something at the airport but I didn’t know what. The first idea was brought forth by my cousin Arturo [his current partner]. He wanted to sell handcrafts on the Internet. But since exporting meant big volumes and investment, we decided to seek and alternative. We went to the crafts market and we found a sort of llama that was sold as a generic, without a brand. That’s when we began.

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