QUITO, Ecuador -- As part of Travel Agent's ongoing coverage of the 37th Travel Mart Latin America, we sat down with Fernando Escudero, general manager for the Tourism Promotion Institute of Salta, and learned that the up-and-coming Argentinian destination is investing $160 million in tourism as part of a 10-year plan.
And thats perhaps the reason why Salta, an eco-tourism getaway known mostly for action adventure and bird watching, got the nod to host next year's Travel Mart Latin America.
"We are excited to have this event back in Argentina since the last time we hosted was about 30 years ago," says Escudero. "They (organizers William H. Coleman, Inc.) told us they are looking for a special place, a different place, a magical place and we are that."
Escudero told us he hopes this opportunity will open up the destination to the U.S. market and other international markets since the destination is currently an attraction for mostly locals.
"We are very successful with the local market, but its time to expand," he says, noting that among the $160 million investment, roughly $2.5 million will be allocated for high mountain tourism.
"We are place for adventure, for hiking, for horseback riding, for bird watching," he says, noting his goal is for Salta to become the eco-tourism capital of Latin America. "We know we have a long ways to compete with eco-destinations like Costa Rica, but hopefully this investment will go a long way in accomplishing that."
Keep visiting www.travelagentcentral.com for more updates from our ongoing coverage of Travel Mart Latin America, which runs through Friday.