Selling the allure of Peru was the subject of a Toronto dinner presentation by Gateways International, Tailor-made Tours and Promperu last night, welcoming agents to learn more about what the destination has to offer.
While the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu may define Peruvian tourism to the world, the country has more to offer in addition to the ancient mountaintop city, said Martha Tavio, Sales Director, during the company's Discover Peru event. In addition to other renowned historic sites, such as the Nazca Lines and ruins in Trujillo and Chiclayo, Peru features 3,000 annual festivals, a thriving culinary culture and opportunities for outdoor activities, ranging from surfing the 1,600 miles of Pacific coastline to ziplining in the Sacred Valley - something to offer every traveller, she said, adding that Peru has become the company’s number one South American destination.
“It’s not just about Machu Picchu,” said Tavio. “There are a lot of things in Peru, which is why it has become such a strong destination for the Canadian market.... This is not a country for just three days – travellers will need at least 10 to 12 nights to truly know what Peru is about.”
That diversity in attractions has drawn a wide range of travellers, Tavio said, ranging from couples both recent and retired, to families providing their children with an educational experience in the country’s heritage and wildlife, much of which resides within Peru’s tract of the Amazon rainforest. Peru also draws cruise-goers looking to make a pre- or post- visit and with sites such as Machu Picchu, many seniors looking to cross an item off their bucket list also make the trek, she said.
For agents selling Peru to their clients, Gateways International President Elie Abitbol said that while the country is far from an inexpensive destination, travellers should consider how often they will likely be returning and make the most of the trip while they are there. Tavio added that the type and length of trip, as well as the clients’ areas of interest and expected level of service, are all important to consider.
“Peru is not a cheap country,” said Abitbol. “ But chances are, these people may never come back so it’s important that they do it the right way.”
For Canadian travellers venturing to Peru, Air Canada offers non-stop flights from Toronto's Pearson International Airport to Lima; Delta Airlines also offers flights out of Toronto with a connection in Atlanta.
Of Gateways International: Maral Polatian, Sales; Vivian Cilia, Groups Incentives Specialist; Elie Abitbol, President; April Tiffney, FIT Specialist; Talia May, Director of Marketing; Sandra Klier, Senior FIT Specialist; Martha Tavio, Sales Director.