NEW YORK CITY, New York – Travel Agent sat down Monday with Elisabeth Hakim, the incoming tourism coordinator for North America and the United Kingdom for PromPeru, Peru's destination marketing organization, and learned of some preliminary plans to get more direct flights and luxury resorts in this growingly-popular South American hot spot.
The destination has been a trendy spot in recent years for many luxury resorts to expand to including the opening of the destination’s sixth Orient Express hotel last February and last year’s unveiling of a new JW Marriott in Cusco. And now, Hakim says, just about every known luxury hotel brand is knocking on Peru’s door.
“We are talking to everyone, it seems,” she says. “There has always been talk of Four Season’s interest and there is ongoing talks with Hyatt and even with Aman Resorts, but right now they are all just talk. You hear a lot of rumors, but nothing is definite yet."
As far flight news goes, the sky's the limit for Peru’s dealings with JetBlue Airways now that two have recently begun a working relationship in the form of direct flights from Fort Lauderdale. JetBlue will begin flying to Lima this November, offering daily service from its Fort Lauderdale base on Airbus A320 aircraft.
Connecting service to Lima via Fort Lauderdale will be available from several of JetBlue's other destinations, including Boston, Hartford, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina and Washington, D.C.
“I think this is great news for Peru as far as accessibility goes,” says Hakim, “because we really need more of those affordable carriers to help balance the market.”
Now that Peru has established a relationship with JetBlue, is direct JetBlue flights from New York on PromPeru’s wish list?
“Of course it is,” Hakim says. "Now that we established this relationship with JetBlue, we will hopefully see them adding some more flights in the future and New York is always an area we are looking at it.”
And why wouldn’t it be? The Tri-State Area along with California and Florida are the strongest markets in the U.S. for tourism to Peru while Texas is slowly gaining steam to a recently-added daily, nonstop America Airlines service from Dallas-Forth Worth to Lima.
“There is a lot going on in Peru,” says Hakim. “Mainly, agents need to know that people are coming here for culture and a big part of our culture is culinary. Also, we are seeing a lot more families coming to Peru as well. Multigenerational travel is really picking up. So, there’s a lot for an agent to sell when it comes to Peru.”