Make us your home page

International Plaza unveils tourism campaign to introduce shoppers to wonders of Peru

TAMPA — You might associate glitzy International Plaza with fashion-forward places like New York, Los Angeles or Milan.

But Peru?


International Plaza has teamed up with PromPeru, the country's tourism commission, on a summer promotion to entice shoppers to travel to Peru.

"We want to get our residents and visitors to think about Peru,'' mall marketing director Nina Mahoney said.

The promotion runs until Aug. 11 and is visible throughout the mall. Most notable is a 3-D floor graphic of Machu Picchu, the famed Inca site high in the Andes mountains, now on display in the lower-level Grand Court. The 12- by- 18-foot artwork was created by Tracy Lee Stum, an American artist known for her 3-D-looking street paintings and chalk art.

Dubbed "Peru: Empire of Hidden Treasures,'' the tourism campaign focuses on the art, music and food of the coastal South American country of about 30 million people. Every Saturday from 2 to 3 p.m., musicians will play Andean music on native instruments and Peruvian artist Patricia Filomeno will give painting demonstrations.

"This is going to bring a lot of awareness about Peru,'' said Filomeno, 36, who lives in Palm Harbor. "Some people here don't even know where Peru is or they think it's all mountains. I'm here to spread the word.''

Juan Carlos Ibarra Schambaher, honorary counsel of Peru for the Central Florida region, said he hopes the campaign promotes tourism between both countries and highlights the need for direct flights from Tampa International Airport to South America. Currently, Orlando is the nearest airport for nonstop flights to the region.

Despite the lack of direct access, South America has long been an important tourist market for the Tampa Bay area. Last year, Hillsborough County had 14.8 million overnight and day visitors, including 2.1 million from outside the United States, according to Visit Tampa Bay.

Among the South American countries, Brazil had the lion's share — 167,124. Peru had 10,455.

For the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, which has a more restrictive visitor count based on overnight hotel stays, the number of guests from Latin America increased to 73,600 last year from 48,100 in 2011. Although still small in number compared with Europe's nearly 1 million visitors, the numbers reflected a 53 percent increase — the biggest boost of any region. Canada, for example, went up 4.7 percent.

The International Plaza promotion is one of just two PromPeru campaigns going on at U.S. malls. The other is at Dolphin Mall in Miami, also owned by Taubman.

Throughout the summer, International's stores and restaurants are offering discounts and freebies to Passport to Savings cardholders. Anyone who spends $150 in one day can show their receipts at the concierge desk to receive a red travel journal embossed with Peru on the cover. Pelagia Trattoria added a special dish to the menu: roasted pork belly served over causa, mashed yellow potato dumpling. It's a favorite in Peru.

Susan Thurston can be reached at or (813) 225-3110.

International Plaza unveils tourism campaign to introduce shoppers to wonders of Peru 06/13/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 2:36pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Last orca calf born in captivity at a SeaWorld park dies


    ORLANDO — The last killer whale born in captivity under SeaWorld's former orca-breeding program died Monday at the company's San Antonio, Texas, park, SeaWorld said.

    Thet orca Takara helps guide her newborn, Kyara, to the water's surface at SeaWorld San Antonio in San Antonio, Texas, in April. Kyara was the final killer whale born under SeaWorld's former orca-breeding program. The Orlando-based company says 3-month-old Kyara died Monday. [Chris Gotshall/SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment via AP]
  2. Miami woman, 74, admits to voter fraud. Does jail await, or will she go free?

    State Roundup

    MIAMI — An 74-year-old woman pleaded guilty Monday to filling out other people's mail-in ballots while working at Miami-Dade's elections department.

    Gladys Coego
  3. Bigger ships carry Georgia ports to record cargo volumes

    Economic Development

    SAVANNAH, Ga. — Bigger ships arriving through an expanded Panama Canal pushed cargo volumes at Georgia's seaports to record levels in fiscal 2017, the Georgia Ports Authority announced Monday.

    The Port of Savannah moved a record 3.85 million container units in fiscal 2017, the state said, benefiting from the larger ships that can now pass through an expanded Panama Canal.
  4. Dragon ride in Harry Potter section of Universal closing for new themed ride


    Universal Orlando announced Monday that it will close Dragon Challenge for a new "highly themed" Harry Potter ride to open in 2019 — sending wizard fans into a guessing game with hopes for a Floo Powder Network or the maze from the Triwizard Tournament.

    Universal Orlando announced Monday that it will close Dragon Challenge on Sept. 5 for a new "highly themed" Harry Potter ride to open in 2019. The ride, originally the Dueling Dragons roller coaster, was renamed and incorporated into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter when the hugely popular area opened in 2010.
  5. Would you let your company implant a chip in you?

    Working Life

    Would you ask an employee to get a chip implanted in her hand? Sounds invasive and intrusive. But come Aug. 1, one company in Wisconsin will be giving it a try.

    Three Square Market - a developer of software used in vending machines - is offering all of its employees the option to get a microchip implanted between the thumb and forefinger. [Photo from video]