United Vacations joins Latin American market with air-inclusive tours

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NEW YORK -- United Vacations has entered the Latin American marketplace with a program emphasizing air-inclusive tours.

Tourlite International of New York has been named to operate United Vacations Latin America's private-label tour product.

Heading up the program is John Schieneman, who joined Tourlite as United Vacations' program director after 20 years at Varig. "Latin America is not a mass-market destination," said Schieneman, "and Tourlite, a regional specialist in Central and South American countries, was selected in order to have people who know the market and how to sell it."

In South America, United Vacations features single-country programs and combinations of country itineraries to the following destinations: Rio de Janeiro, the Northeast region and Iguazu Falls, Brazil; Buenos Aires, Bariloche and Patagonia, Argentina; Santiago, Vina del Mar, Puerto Montt and Puerto Varas plus a crossing of the Lake District and cruises to Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego in Chile; Lima, Cusco, Machu Picchu, Iquitos and the Nazca lines, Peru, and Caracas and Margarita Island, Venezuela.

Central America programs cover Costa Rica and Guatemala, and Mexico City is featured.

These destinations are available when booked on locally hosted air-inclusive vacations or locally hosted Latin America as You Like It a la carte modules.

Among the features common to all air-inclusive tours and FIT packages are choices of deluxe and first class hotels, daily breakfast, locally escorted sightseeing, transfers and baggage handling.

According to Schieneman, best-selling countries include Brazil, Peru and Costa Rica -- destinations that have a diversity of travel offerings and have been well publicized.

"Brazil is selling very well," Schieneman said, "in part because it is well priced, with air costs even lower than when the United Vacations program was released."

The five-night Rio de Janeiro program, for instance, costs $679 per person, double, from New York and includes air fare, five nights' hotel accommodations with Brazilian breakfast daily, a half-day tour of Sugar Loaf Mountain, transfers, hotel service charges and taxes.

The United Vacations' six-night Peru vacation costs $999 per person from New York or Miami.

The program includes air fare; three nights in Lima and three in Cusco with daily breakfast; a full-day of sightseeing in Lima, a half-day of sightseeing in Cusco and a full-day at the Pisac market; a full-day excursion to Machu Picchu; transfers; hotel service charges, and taxes.

According to Schieneman, United Vacations' a la carte modules are proving to be strong sellers, "showing us that a more mature market has developed for Latin America and that a large number of travelers know what they want to do and how they want to do it."

United Vacations Latin America, Phone: (800) 328-6877

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