The Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau (ACVB) will be exploring new business and tourism opportunities with Argentina and South Africa this year due to new direct flights to and from Buenos Aires, Cape Town and Johannesburg.

      The flights could mean increased trade and tourism with these countries, said Gabriela Gonzalez, who was appointed director for international marketing and sales for the bureau in November and already has been to Argentina on a trade mission.

Ms. Gonzalez will be exposing Argentines and South Africans to Atlanta’s attractions, which are largely unknown in those regions, at conventions and through trade missions, which she encourages interested Atlanta businesses to join.

In Buenos Aires last month Ms. Gonzalez found that Argentines were interested to hear about Atlanta’s shopping, which is second to Chicago’s per capita, she said, and its 8,000 restaurants.

      Ms. Gonzalez has also arranged monthly trips here for members of the Argentine press in order to spread recognition of the city in South America.

      The first-ever direct flights from Atlanta to Africa will be offered by South African Airways, which is in the process of relocating its Americas headquarters here from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The Johannesburg-based airline will drop its direct flights from Miami when it adds the flights from Atlanta, which it will code-share with Delta Air Lines, starting in February.

Direct flights to Buenos Aires are currently offered by LAPA, an Argentine airline, while Delta is seeking approval for Atlanta-Buenos Aires flights.

      The ACVB may be reached at (404) 521-6600 or by fax at (404) 521-6562.