Specialist tour operator Latin Routes is to hold a second overseas training academy for 50 agents next year in Peru.
The company said the “incredible success” of its first Academy, held last year in Rio de Janeiro, had led to the decision to organise a six-day trip to Cusco over 25-29 March 2020.
Latin Routes said the event would be “the largest of its kind on the continent”, featuring a four-day educational programme encompassing in-depth training and supplier networking, plus entertainment and sightseeing, including a full-day trip to the ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu.
The second Academy trip is part of the Aito member’s strategy to grow sales through the trade – Latin Routes has already doubled the proportion of bookings made through agents, compared with 2018, and they now account for 45% of sales, with hopes to “raise this further into 2020”.
In September, Latin Routes expanded into the escorted tour market for the first time, offering a range of nine small-group multi-centre itineraries throughout Latin America, with departures from May 2020.
Jess Bain, Latin Routes’ head of trade relations, said: “The two things we know agents really want is more training and first-hand travel experience of Latin America.
“Our Academy provides the best way to support our agent partners and improve both sales and agents’ confidence in selling this amazing continent.
“Last year we had close to 700 agents applying to join the Academy, and we received amazing feedback from both the agents and suppliers who attended.
“This year, given the popularity of the destination and the increased awareness following the huge success of the 2018 Academy, we expect to receive even more interest from agents.”
Competition for a place on the Peru Academy trip is set to be fierce, with Latin Routes expecting up to 800 applications.
To be in with a chance, agents must apply to join the Academy (latinroutes.co.uk/academy) and those “deemed by the business development team to have the best potential for selling Latin America” will be offered one of the 50 places.