François Morin arrived in Peru from France in 2015, where he was already working in tourism in the TUI Group. There he got to know the different areas of a tour operator, including working with different destinations, among which was Peru.
¨ It was a total change to arrive at a business and destination with a lot of growth and development potential¨
In almost 6 years at LimaTours, he has worked with the Product, purchasing and contracting team and developed the areas of Pacific World (incentives), Pure Quest (adventure). He has recently focused his efforts on consolidating technology and digitization actions within the company. Today he is our New Businesses director.
We spoke with François to know his appreciations about Peru, tourism within the country and the projects and strengths of LimaTours during the pandemic.
What surprised you the most when you first came to Peru?
Lima's climate is quite special; you have a wonderful summer, nearby beaches and the Pacific right beside. A capital city that is next to the ocean is unique. Also, a mild winter, and if you want sun you can go north on a short flight, or to the mountains, and be in a totally different environment. In a single trip, you can have a jungle and Andes experience, and do totally different activities.
I also liked the people, there is a very good attitude, a lot of good humour which is refreshing. On the other hand, the gastronomic richness is impressive. You can go to a restaurant and eat delicious and well-cared food for a small price. You can go to a restaurant and eat delicious and well-prepared food at a small price, or go to a luxurious restaurant and enjoying first-rate food - paying a fraction of what you would pay in Europe.
The local history is also something that is impressive. You can find some of the best known archaeological remains in the world and also thousand-year-old historical centres within the city.
What do you like about working in tourism in Peru?
It is a great opportunity to experience and discover the destinations and then share them with our clients. It is very easy to fall in love with the landscapes and communities and later transmit that passion. When we launched Pure Quest, our adventure area, it was great to contribute to its development and growth by experiencing this side that attracts me so much.
LimaTours has independence regarding its initiatives and business ideas. I value its strength in the American and Latin American markets. Our diversity of clients is unique.
There is also a close and friendly environment inside the tourism community in Peru. People are very fond of LimaTours. There is good collaboration between the different actors in the industry with well-organised unions and an outstanding level of quality and professionalism. Working in tourism in Peru is doing it in a destination where very high levels of service and offer have been reached.
The work of LimaTours
How has LimaTours remained active during the pandemic?
LimaTours is a multidisciplinary company. Having no passengers during this time, we focus on our clients. We analyze trends, listen to their needs, think of ways to be more efficient and see what we can improve to have a quick response to their requirements. We aligned our offers to current times and implemented the necessary biosafety protocols for reactivation.
It is also crucial to take care of our work team and their physical and mental health. The most important thing is the people who are part of our family and share with them positive energy, especially in a time with so much uncertainty. We did the same with the communities dedicated to tourism that were affected by this situation. Through the LimaTours Foundation and our clients' collaboration, we were able to bring them some help.
How is LimaTours preparing for the eventual reactivation of tourism?
We have identified and developed a series of strategic projects, which aim to achieve more efficient processes. We have proposed to bring our offer to customers in the most friendly way, through a digitization project that was already under development: Aurora. We accelerate the work to be operational when the reactivation arrives for the benefit of our clients and the use of our commercial team.
We also focus on promoting tourism focused on post-pandemic passengers' immediate needs, but that also takes care of the environment. We have all realized that today, we have to take care of the destinations and the spaces where we live more than ever.
Have you identified any travel trends that respond to the new world context?
Today's passengers are more aware of sustainability and positive impact. We made available the option that allows passengers to mitigate the carbon footprint of their trip within Peru - considering that they will take flights and be transported in vehicles, creating an impact. We give them the possibility, at an affordable cost, to compensate it while contributing to large-scale projects such as the reforestation of forests in Tambopata.
Although we already have positive impact activities, we continue to prepare integral programs that include experiential and environmental tourism experiences. Our goal is that any itinerary that is carried out with LimaTours has the possibility of being carbon neutral.
Why do you think a tourist should choose Peru as their first travel destination?
Peru is a country where you can find everything. It is a destination that offers gastronomy, outdoor activities and magnificent history. There has always been a strong focus on Machu Picchu, but we recommend that those who visit the country take the time to see other places as impressive as the Inca citadel. We are working on affordable programs that can be done independently, with a guide or in small groups that will allow you to experience it differently.
For more than 60 years of operation, at LimaTours we have gone through difficult episodes, but we have always overcome them. If we take one step back, we take three steps forward. We are working hard to be the strongest operator when tourism activities return. Many opportunities will appear, and we are in a position that allows us to take advantage of them and continue to offer great experiences with the best service.