WTM 2015: Peru tourist board targets agents with mobile phone app

WTM 2015: Peru tourist board targets agents with mobile phone app

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Peru’s tourist board has revealed plans to launch a mobile phone app aimed at travel agents to coincide with the beginning of a new non-stop British Airways flight to Lima.

PromPeru has developed the app to offer an introduction to the country, with selling advice and tips on how to appeal to niche markets such as adventure travellers, foodies and culture-focused tourists.

It is due to go live in the US by the end of December, with the UK set to follow in the first quarter of 2016, coinciding with the launch of direct flights three times a week from Gatwick to Lima starting May 4.

North America and United Kingdom tourism coordinator Elisabeth Hakim said: “We have a company designing the app in the US so we have the template already, and we thought this would be the right moment to have every agent trained in how to sell Peru.

“The app is right there on their mobile phone, so the information is easily accessible if they get a client who is interested in travelling to Peru.”

Director of tourism Marisol Acosta added that she was expecting visitor numbers – which increased nearly 8% to 61,234 in 2014 – to grow at least another 10% next year with the introduction of the new flight and a growing appetite for off-the-beaten-track experiences.

Acosta said: “People are definitely looking for more community-based tourism, they don’t just want to sightsee, they want to meet people. So we are working very hard to develop this kind of tourism, and training some of our local communities.

“We have seen British tourists become more adventurous and more open to knowing about our food, so we are trying to make sure we offer what British travellers are looking for.”

The country has also seen a number of hotel openings over the past year including Courtyard by Marriott in Lima’s Miraflores district, a sixth property for eco-focused brand Inkaterra with its Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba, and the Skylodge Adventure Suites, a hanging lodge suspended 1,312ft above the Sacred Valley and accessible by zipline.

Capital Lima will also host the second World Forum on Food Tourism in April, organised by the United Nationals World Tourism Organisation, to boost the profile of Peruvian cuisine.

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