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Tourism and the crisis in Peru
Crisis in the middle of the high season
Cusco - Peru
Nicole Maxdeo
May 5, 2024

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For almost 5 months and throughout the early months of this year, our economy was affected due to protests that occurred in various regions of the country. In the case of tourism and the crisis in Peru, this relationship is closely linked to the fact that many countries have declared Peru as an unsafe destination, despite it not being as portrayed.

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here were indeed disruptions; however, they were only setbacks that showed us the most vulnerable side of our operations in the tourism sector. Among the most affected sectors that have suffered the most repercussions are the agro-export sector, transportation, commerce, and tourism.

Tourism and the Crisis in Peru: Strategic Data

According to the Lima Chamber of Commerce, tourism has paralyzed its activities by 99% in recent months, resulting in losses of up to S/1.7 billion.

Some tourism companies and guilds, such as airlines and hotels, report a 70% decrease in hotel occupancy rates, with more than 525 international and domestic flights canceled.

Moreover, the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism had predicted receiving around 2.5 million international tourists for this year. Unfortunately, due to this issue, reservation cancellations, festival cancellations, and the refunding of many tours, it will not even be possible to reach half of the projected number.

These are painful losses for those of us working in the tourism industry.

Tourism and the Crisis in Peru: The Economy

For Peru and more specifically, Cusco, tourism has been one of the main economic drivers.  This led to the closure of airports in the south, the cancellation of trains in Cusco, and roadblocks that have not allowed travelers to enjoy 100% of their adventure.

Due to these social conflicts, the Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism, Luis Fernando Helguero, has generated cancellations of up to 60% of tourist reservations for the first semester of 2023. Unfortunately, this would lead to a reduction in foreign currencies.

According to data from the Central Reserve Bank (BCR) of Peru, the income of foreign currencies from inbound tourism to Peru amounted to around USD 2.06 billion last year, compared to the peak of USD 4.7 billion in 2019, before pandemic restrictions.

 Tourism and the Crisis in Peru: Foreigners Look to Other Destinations

This issue and the perception of insecurity by foreign countries make it difficult to have 100% operability. This also prevents travelers from reaching their tourist destinations and from helping to restore the local economy. Even governments of other countries are advising their citizens not to come to the country, as they consider it dangerous for tourism. International tour operators are removing destinations in the country from their offerings. If you are a traveler from another country and do not want your family to worry, you go to another destination.

Peru is no longer the favorite of many tourists; Central America and even the Caribbean are taking the lead.

Tourism and the Crisis in Peru: Investments

Definitely, investors no longer bet on our territory to build new constructions, hotels, restaurants, or bring their people. This situation puts us on alert not only for large operators but also prevents local communities from revitalizing and developing as they had been doing before.

Strategies to Attract Foreign Tourists

Leading tourism specialists argue that, through Promperú, strategies can be mapped out to help attract foreign tourists for 2024. This will seek to launch campaigns aimed at recovering tourists' perception and image towards Peru.

"It will be through a targeted campaign, especially to the United States, Mexico, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia, and Spain, namely, those countries that lead the ranking of visitors to Peru.  In response to this strategy, the president of Apavit stated that Mincetur can conduct many campaigns, but it can be a double-edged sword since the image that the country intends to project may not be so credible due to the acts of violence that are damaging the country's reputation.

Tourists will begin to notice this campaign when the country starts to normalize its situation, likely in the last quarter of this year or the next.

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