New LAN Airlines Flights Could Broaden Scope of South American Travel

LAN Airlines has been pumping out new domestic routes within Brazil, Peru, Chile, ArgentinaEcuador and other South American destinations for the last several years, but a new March 2012  flight essentially connecting Chile’s Easter Island and Peru’s Machu Picchu could have the greatest impact of them all, according to members of the Tourism Promotion Corporation of Chile.

Travel Agent chatted with members Cristobal Luna and Juan Pablo Costa last week and learned that Chile, as well as other popular Latin American destinations, is hoping that LAN’s new domestic flights will change the nature in which clients travel to South America.

“Instead of people traveling 11-12 hours to see one destination in South America, we are hoping LAN’s new flights will enable travelers to see more than one country in one visit,” says Luna. “The new flight in March will essentially connect two of South America’s greatest wonders, Easter Island and Machu Picchu. Americans don’t’ have much vacation time, so hopefully this can allow them to see a lot in a short period of time.”

The March flight can dramatically increase the amount of clients heading to South America for multi-destination travel, giving Chile, already robust in offerings, yet another niche market to capitalize on.

“There’s really nothing you can’t do when visiting Chile,” Luna says. “There is really something for just about every market, which makes it challenging to market sometimes.”

But apparently its not a bad problem for the destination to have, considering it is already reporting a four-percent increase in arrivals from this time last year. Luna says about 35 percent of all Chile travel comes from the Tri-State Area, while 30 percent comes from the West Coast, mainly California, and the remaining 35 percent coming from such destinations as Miami and Seattle.

With the new flights, as well as a slew of big name luxury resorts setting up shop in Chile, Costa is hoping to double numbers to Chile by 2014.