I had a chance to speak over Skype with Diane Bauer, the owner of Be Peru!, a DMC based in Lima, with representatives in Cusco. We talked about what is the latest in meetings and events in Peru. Here is what she shared with me:
The Peru government seeks to promote the cities of Cusco, Arequipa and Trujillo for future smaller congresses, meetings and events with between 100 and 800 PAX. For over a decade, Lima has been known for world class hotels, outstanding cuisine, excellent security, smooth transportation in and out of the country as well as once your meeting has arrived. One new feature is the completion of a new gleaming Lima Convention Center (http://www.limaconvention.com/web/index.html)
Cusco, Arequipa and Trujillo each have one or two luxury accommodations and more are on the way.
Today the incentives coming to Peru are from the auto, medical, pharma and insurance companies. The typical size of an incentive to Lima/Cusco is 200-300 PAX. Interestingly, Russian & Polish companies are sending a large number of smaller incentives (30-40 PAX) for the Amazon River/Jungle experience, which can run up to $6,000 per PAX. If you are thinking about a similar incentive for your team, make sure you plan ahead, though the incentive option is available year-round, groups have to book at least eight months in advance. Check out www.beperu.com for sample incentives.
For Congresses, Lima is still the first choice. Organization like the IOC and United Nations Climate Change Conference are choosing Lima. Sadly, while the new convention center can support a congress of 40-50,000, there is not enough hotel rooms. Diana was optimistic that that will start changing over the next year.
For you meeting planners, who are looking for the unique special event location for an opening reception or final banquet. Inca and nature themes abound and can provide your participants with a unique experience and scenic vista for your special event. Diana recommends Cusco and the Sacred Valley with the most hidden gems.
Giving back programs for your meeting participants are plentiful in Peru. Even, hosting a Peruvian lunch can support the local community as the food is often prepared by local women in providing additional income. Like many impoverished communities, there are hospitals, schools and orphanages which you can work with to provide support.
Getting to Peru by air is getting easier and easier. Airlines are increasing their lift from the US and new routes from London and countries like New Zealand or Australia are starting to make connections.
More of my conversation about the pre and post trip options in my next blog.