Atlanta’s hospitality industry should help to promote the city as a tourist destination by trying to lure Latin American passengers who change planes at Hartsfield International Airport to stay overnight and visit the city, tourism industry professionals said at a conference held here last week.

Atlanta has great potential to become a tourist destination with 134 flights coming into the airport from Latin American cities every week, said Tony Carbone, president of Access USA, a tour operation firm based in Miami.

Speakers specifically mentioned an absence of promotional materials that cater to Latin American travel agents and a lack of comprehensive tour packages for business travelers.

“There are no packages for Latin America-U.S. travel,” said Rick Still, managing director of Jacksonville, Fla.-based La Cumbre, a 10-year-old annual travel industry trade conference aimed at Latin America. “Japanese travel is booming because Japanese travel agencies sell packages for business trips to the U.S.”

Mr. Carbone suggested that Atlanta promote itself as “an example of “American ingenuity at its best, home of Coca-Cola, CNN and Delta.”

The conference, organized by the Atlanta Visitors and Convention Bureau and the Atlanta Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, was to prepare industry representatives for the Latin America 2000 trade show to be held here in October.

 Call the convention and visitors bureau at (404) 521-6600.