CHICLAYO--Peruvian chain Casa Andina plans to open new hotels in the northern cities of Piura, Cajamarca, Trujillo and Tarapoto in the upcoming four years, Casa Andina general manager Juan Stoessel said Tuesday.
He noted that these new projects will be carried out under the Select format (four-star business-oriented hotels) and the Classic format (four-star hotels).
Furthermore, the general manager reported that Casa Andina is expected to open its Select format hotel in the city of Chahapoyas (Amazonas region) on August 1, and its first Select hotel in Lima’s Miraflores district in October.
In addition, Casa Andina announced the investment of US$2.5 million for its hotel in Chiclayo to turn it into the first hotel under the Select format in that city.
The celebrations have begun in Cusco for Machu Picchu's centennial. Check back here for updates as the festivities unfold.
President Alan García arrives to celebrations, and while still huffing from the climb, tells reporters that he once lived at Machu Picchu for 40 days.
“I lived in one of the houses for 40 days when I was 20 years old,” García said while pointing to the stone hut structures. “I recited Pablo Neruda at night.”
García, who is now 62, described a free-spirited scene at Machu Picchu in what would have been 1969. “There were a lot of young foreign visitors, Argentinean songs, sambas, Spaniards who sang songs from the Civil War… We had long debates over politics, philosophy, anarchism, Marxism. It was a beautiful experience, one of those that mark your life.”
12:39 p.m. The Chilean group Los Jaivas play the famous "Alturas de Machu Picchu"
Between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. a greeting to Machu Picchu is expected in the Inca citadel, with the staging of the traditional Tinkay ceremony and a salute from the Cuatro Suyos.
At 9 a.m. this morning, the great artistic and cultural festival took place in the various plazas in the city of Cusco, including Regocijo, Espinar, San Francisco, San Blas, Santa Teresa, Los Pumas and the Plaza de Armas.
Peruvian President Alan Garcia traveled to Cusco to participate in the 100th anniversary celebrations of Machu Picchu.
The main day of celebration started early this morning at 6 a.m. hours with a 21-gun salute in the Imperial City.
Tomorrow the main celebration will take place in Machu Picchu, Cusco. (Photo: nytimes.com)
Tomorrow, Thursday, marks the 100 years of the rediscovery of Machu Picchu. For such a historic occasion, the president of the organizing committee, Ricardo Vega Llona, states that at least 500 million people around the world will view the event scheduled in the ancient Inca city.
More than 15 international channels, including NHK in Japan, will broadcast the event, reports Tnews. Meanwhile, TV Peru will transmit the celebrations all over the country in digital and analog signals. Vega Llona stresses that everything is ready for the main celebrations to take place in the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.
It's estimated that the archaeological monument would receive 3.200 visitors tomorrow, while 8,000 to 10,000 people will see the event (which includes a lights and sound show) on a big screen placed in the city of Cusco.
Air France resumes Paris - Lima flights (Photo: Andina)
After 16 years, Air France once again offers the direct route Paris - Lima. The inaugural flight took place on June 21 (see video below) and since then has been operating five weekly flights between the two capital cities.
Air France-KLM Group adds on these 5 new flights out of Paris to the already 7 flights operated by KLM out of Amsterdam, reports The Financial. The Group is the leading carrier between Lima and Europe (12 weekly flights) in terms of frequencies, allowing Peru to be connected to 254 destinations via the Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.
Paris - Lima flights operate on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday by Boeing 777-200 jetliners carrying 309 passengers.
"Like Bingham, Mark Adams was bored with his day job (in his case, not professor but magazine editor). And like Bingham, he became obsessed with romantic, remote Machu Picchu. So, as the centennial of its "discovery" neared, Mr. Adams decided to retrace Bingham's three Peruvian expeditions."
"I wondered if it was still possible to detour from the modern, tourist path and arrive in the same way Bingham had — by taking the scenic route. Aided by John, a 58-year-old Australian expatriate who works with the Cuzco-based adventure outfitter Amazonas Explorer, I assembled a trip to do just that."
The centennial celebration for Machu Picchu is expected to attract $40 million of additional tourism revenue to the Cusco region this month, according to an analysis by Gestión.
According to estimates from the national chamber of tourism, 70,000 visitors are expected in Cusco this July, an increase of some 20,000 over normal years. The news gets even better for the region, however.
Not only are more visitors coming to Cusco, they are also spending an average of one additional night there, due to the celebrations which peak on July 7. With the average tourist spending $150 per day, the revenues quickly add up.
The benefits are expected to continue into August and September, with bookings up 15% year-on-year. The real crunch, however, is for July bookings, especially at the site and the surrounding communities of Aguas Calientes, Ollantaytambo and Urubamba.
“The hotels are already full. Right now, there aren’t even rooms for those of us attending the ceremony. There are very few beds available; I estimate that the occupancy rate in Aguas Calientes is 90%,” Carlos Canales, president of the chamber of tourism, told Gestión.
Recent protests in Puno (Photo: Living in Peru archive)
The losses to Puno’s tourism industry caused by recent strikes and blockades will continue to mount, reports El Comercio. By 2012, it is estimated that the protests will have cost the travel industry 300,000 visitors and roughly $100 million, in large part due to lingering bad publicity.
Looking beyond 2012, analysts remain pessimistic. The longer that unrest plagues the region, the harder it will be for domestic hotels and tour operators to sign contracts with foreign travel agencies. Puno risks being cut out of the southern tourist circuit.
Investment in Puno’s tourism industry is already drying up. “I think it’s almost impossible for a foreign chain to bet on Puno, with all the radical discourse that there is out there and the negative view they take on external investment,” Juan Stoessel, managing director of Casa Andina, told El Comercio.