LIMA – Spain’s Globalia group, the owner of the Air Europa airline and the Be Live hotel chain, is weighing investing in Peru’s hotel sector at the same time that it is reducing its air fares between Lima and Europe to encourage tourism, the firm’s CEO, Javier Hidalgo, said on Tuesday.
Hidalgo has wanted the firm’s eventual entry into Peru to allow it to increase the frequency of Air Europa flights between Madrid and Lima, cities that are currently connected by a single daily flight using one of the eight Boeing 787-800 jets it recently added to its fleet.
The Spaniard is heading a delegation of Globalia executives in Peru who in recent days have met with local government authorities and businessmen as part of a regional tour including Brazil, Bolivia and Ecuador to explore opportunities in those markets.
“We believe that Peru is a country with spectacular tourist potential, due to its archaeological and gastronomical wealth, its people and the ecological tourism of its Amazon region. It’s a very attractive country and we want to make it better known in Europe,” Hidalgo said.
The Globalia chief added that this visit to Peru is the “first contact with the country” to evaluate possible tourist foci, and in the coming months both he and his team will travel to the South American nation multiple times to closely study the market.
He acknowledged that Globalia specializes in full-service hotels, of which there are none in Lima, but he said he will be open to examining all available options.
“Yesterday we were with the assistant minister of tourism and the conversation was very fluid. He saw clearly our new project in Peru and we will start conversations to see how we can work together,” Hidalgo said.
The Globalia CEO also expressed his desire to work with local authorities to “broaden familiarity with the Peruvian brand because the perception of the country is the most important thing,” but he added that it’s also important to work with big companies that can deliver directly to the customer.
He also announced an aggressive new policy of air fare pricing whereby passengers traveling from Peru to Europe can “select the service they want.”
Also participating in the press conference with Hidalgo were Globalia’s director of corporate development, Lisandro Menu; the general director of the group’s wholesale division, Emilio Rivas; and Air Europa sales director Bernardo Botella.