Sustainable Tourism in Peru
Information for the best tourism options
Nicole Maxdeo
May 3, 2024

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Before the COVID pandemic, tourism had been booming, reaching incredible levels of growth. It was intended to surpass the number of visitors from previous years, overcoming various crises that arose along the way. Despite being a somewhat unpredictable and sensitive activity due to the current situation, there was an unmistakable growth. As a result of these problems, the idea of ​​maintaining a more environmentally and community-friendly system has been increasingly considered.

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Sustainable tourism in Peru: Opportunities

In Peru, knowing how to cope with these adversities, we are at a crucial point where we must think about how to offer sustainable alternatives for current passengers, who seek that extra. Tourists have changed, due to the pandemic, as they not only want to visit beautiful and new places, but they also want to support communities in a way that leaves a significant impact on these communities. Aspects such as the economy and the environment are the main guidelines of this type of respectful tourism.

As a country, this presents an opportunity because we can meet these demands through a focus on sustainability in places like Machu Picchu, for example.

Opportunities for improvement in Peru: Sustainable Tourism

If we talk about opportunities in which we could improve and maintain tourism in a sustainable way, we could talk about the following aspects:

Geographical and cultural diversity

Peru has different types of climates, as well as its geography, flora, and fauna. Likewise, it has almost 11 ecoregions: Cold Sea or Humboldt Current, Tropical Sea, Pacific Desert, Equatorial Dry Forest, Tropical Pacific Forest, Steppe Sierra, Puna, Paramo, High Jungle, Low Jungle, and Palm Savannah. Regarding multiculturalism, and according to figures from the Ministry of Culture, there are 55 indigenous peoples, 48 indigenous and native languages, and various cultural manifestations.

Unique flora and fauna

Our country is among the 17 most megadiverse countries in the world. In fauna alone, we have more than 1831 species of birds, 507 species of mammals, 415 species of amphibians, 400 species of reptiles. Likewise, it has 855 species of continental fish and 19,000 species of flora.

Community tourism

In Peru, there has been a growth in community tourism, allowing local communities to directly benefit from the tourism industry while conserving their heritage and culture.

Challenges for sustainable tourism in Peru

Despite having suffered so many blows from political or social crises, Peru has opportunities with sustainable tourism that are truly promising. We are currently recovering from challenges, but despite this, there is no culture of sustainability, both at the population level and in tourism companies themselves. Some of the points to be addressed are:

Pressure on natural resources

As tourism increases in the country, this may mean pressure on natural resources, such as water and energy, which could result in negative impacts if not managed properly.

Inequality in the economic impact of tourism

It is somewhat important to ensure that tourism and its benefits can be distributed equitably. More specifically, in rural and remote areas, this is to avoid influencing the social gaps that already exist. These communities must participate actively and fairly in the tourism economy.
To ensure the proper functioning of Sustainable Tourism, it is necessary to include them in the logistical chain so that they can benefit from a greater influx of visitors.

Sustainable development

Peru must also ensure that it follows the principles of sustainable development depending on the promotion of tourism. This includes the balance between conservation and exploitation of natural resources.

Education and awareness

Promoting sustainable tourism in Peru requires significant efforts in education and awareness for both tourists and the parties involved in the industry, especially for the personnel working in companies linked to this sector.

Regulation and compliance

Just as it is important to comply with sustainable tourism from us, it is necessary to comply with the policies stipulated by regulatory entities in favor of ethical and environmental standards.

Tourism in Peru

In recent years, Peru has positioned itself as a destination of great tourist importance in the country. In this sense, discussing sustainable tourism is no longer just a topic to take lightly, but it is imperative to meet the standards that today's tourists want to see represented.

The latest report from the Tourism Competitiveness Index, which evaluates infrastructure, tourism policies, and natural and cultural resources, our country ranked fourth in South America, only behind Brazil, Chile, and Argentina. And the list of attractions that the country has is amazing: 5,000 archaeological sites, more than 200 protected natural areas, 14 national parks, 15 national reserves, among other wonders, which few countries in the world have.

Promperú awards

Likewise, the flow of national visitors has also shown a positive balance. According to the National Vacationer Profile of PROMPERÚ (Peru Export and Tourism Promotion Commission), in 2015 more than one and a half million compatriots traveled within the country. Of these, 60% were women and 40% men.

Here are some data that you may not have known about sustainable tourism in Peru:
Machu Picchu is the first wonder of the world and the first international tourist destination to obtain the Carbon Neutral Certificate.

  • The World Tourism Organization (WTO) already recognizes us as a sustainable destination; in fact, Ollantaytambo, Lamas, and Raqchi have been awarded as "Best Tourism Villages" 2022.
  • Tingo María National Park (Huánuco) was included in the Top 100 of the Green Destinations Story Awards 2023. This Peruvian tourist attraction managed to rank second in the 'Prosperous Communities' category.
  • Additional data: The focus on sustainability is part of the vision of the National Strategic Plan by 2025 (PENTUR) and the destination promotion strategy of PROMPERÚ.

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