ASTA IDE Helps Travel Agents Sell South America

Agents can get hands–on education at next year's International Destination Expo By: Janeen Christoff
The Westin Lima will host next year’s IDE. // © 2011 Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
The Westin Lima will host next year’s IDE. // © 2011 Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

The Details

ASTA’s International Destination Expo (IDE) provides travel agents with the opportunity to learn essential skills that will help broaden their sales and help them become specialists in an up-and-coming destination. Next year, IDE will take place March 1-4 in Lima, Peru, at the Westin Lima Hotel and Convention Center. The event features on-site learning and immerses agents in the destination of Peru, ensuring that they return with the necessary skills to boost their sales to South America.

During the conference, agents have the opportunity to participate in ASTA’s comprehensive training and certification. Sessions include strategic, on-site international destination sales training, global networking with regional suppliers, best-marketing practices from industry experts and more. ASTA’s industry-recognized certification is designed to help agents secure new clients and give them an edge over the competition. The event also features a trade show with local and international suppliers, offering agents an inside track on new tours, marketing opportunities and client prospects.

While a range of educational opportunities are available to agents, a variety of sightseeing experiences and pre- and post-conference fam trips are offered to give agents an even more in-depth experience. In Lima, agents can take advantage of a variety of sightseeing options that are included in the IDE conference. A complimentary, half-day city tour of Lima is offered and features the Archbishop Palace, Miraflores, San Isidro and more. In addition, agents can select a half-day tour of the Larco Museum, explore pre-Hispanic Lima, partake in a shopping tour or discover the city’s culinary attractions. Those who would like to experience a full-day of touring can opt for the Pachacamac, Peruvian Paso Horses and Creole Lunch tour, which features the Pachacamac archeological site and the Lurin River valley.

Sightseeing is built into the conference schedule and begins with half-day tours on March 1. Evening entertainment, includes the Opening Ceremony and General Session at The Magic Water Park, housed in Lima’s historic Parque de la Reserva. It is the world’s largest water fountain complex in a public park and features 13 fountains that combine movement, lights, sounds and images. The Peru Gala takes place on March 2 at the Pedro de Osma Museum in the historic Barranco district. Once a private home, the museum is now home to one of Peru’s most impressive art collections. The final day of the conference is also devoted to sightseeing, with full- and half-day tours available.

Fam tours range from two-day jaunts to a longer, nine-day experience. For example, the four-day pre-tour, Cusco Splendor, offers a tour of Cusco before heading to Machu Picchu via train. A two-day post-tour features the Nasca Lines and Ballestas Islands, and the nine-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and Cusco City itinerary delves into the heart of the Inca Empire and the many architectural sites in the Sacred Valley.

Rates for IDE are $359 for ASTA/NACTA members. Non-member agent rates are $399, and guest rates are $429. Agents interested in attending can also receive special airfare pricing on Lan Airlines flights with discounts up to 35 percent. The more than 20 IDE participating hotels are also offering special rates for the conference. Agents can choose to stay in the Miraflores district or San Isidro, as well as downtown Lima. Hotels in the San Isidro district include the Westin Lima, where IDE is being held. Room rates start at $69 per night.

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