Copa Airlines' regular flights into Tampa International Airport make Tampa Bay an accessible destination for travelers from Central and South America.

Expanding Tampa Bay's reach into South America, Visit Tampa Bay President & CEO Santiago Corrada is in Santiago, Chile, this week encouraging more of our South American neighbors to unlock Tampa Bay.

He is part of a regional delegation from Tampa Bay, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, working to build better ties to Chile and develop more trade between that region and this one. They've made similar trips in recent years to Colombia and Brazil, where Tampa Bay has sister cities. Over the past few years, both Colombia and Brazil have become important points of origin for foreign tourists coming to Tampa Bay. It's not uncommon to see them traveling in large groups through Busch Gardens Tampa.

Building ties with Chile is easier now that Copa Airlines flies to Tampa Bay from pretty much anywhere in Latin America. The Panama-based airline has expanded its service to Tampa International Airport to seven days a week this fall.

Visit Tampa Bay and Copa Airlines recently hosted a group of South American tour operators and travel writers who visit Tampa Bay in October and can now spread the word in their home countries about all the gems waiting to be discovered here in Tampa Bay!