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Travel & Tourism | July 27, 2011 [ 15:03 ]

UGM will evaluate plan to solve limited access to Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu (Photo: Andina/ Percy Hurtado )
The Management Unit of Machu Picchu (UGM) will meet next week in Cusco to evaluate plans to solve the current 2,500 visitors a day restriction.

Regional director of Foreign Trade and Tourism, Carlos Zuñiga reported news of the meeting.

Zuñiga told Andina news agency that the proposed plan would address the capacity restrictions, which would be increased to 5,000 daily visits in the long term. The plan would also address the protection and sustainable development of tourism in the area.

"The Master Plan for Machu Picchu made in 2005 gave the magic number of 2,500 tourists per day, but today everything has changed, there are more trains arriving, the demand of visitors increased and will continue to increase, so we have to see other options," he said.

He stressed that the plan would not affect the conservation of the site, which would provide schedules for visits as well as alternative routes to visit the site.

The regional head of Cusco, Jorge Tito Acurio, district mayor of Machu Picchu, Oscar Valencia, and the Ministry of Culture, among other institutions, chair the UGM.

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Travel & Tourism | July 27, 2011 [ 14:17 ]

130 pct increase in tourists visiting Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu (Photo:Andina / Percy Hurtado )
The number of tourists visiting Machu Picchu, grew by nearly 130 percent between January and April 2011 compared to the same period last year, reported the consultancy company Maximixe.

"Between January and April of this year, 244,061 tourists visited Machu Picchu which represented an annual growth rate of 129.1 percent," they said, in an article in Andina.

Of the total tourists, 75.5 percent were foreigners.

Maximixe noted that these figures could have been even if the social conflicts in Puno hadn’t occurred. They noted that the conflict generated the cancellation of several tours in the country.

Other tourist attractions that saw an increase in the flow of visitors were the National Reserve of Paracas, Ica, with 42.4 percent growth and 65.921 visitors, and the Belen Monument Complex in Cajamarca with an increase of 35.5 percent.

Between 2005 and 2010, the tourist site that recorded the most dynamic growth in the number of visitors was the city of Caral, located north of Lima. Caral had 24.7 per cent growth.

The archeological sites of Kuelap in the Amazon saw 15.3 percent growth, Moray Cusco 15 percent, Kotosh Huánuco 14.4 percent, the Colca Valley in Arequipa 11.7 percent and the Quistococha Resort in Loreto had a 11.7 percent increase in the amount of visitors.

Maximixe said that "while the amount of visitors to these places is less than number who go to Machu Picchu, it is a remarkable growth, which will be even greater when you create the appropriate infrastructure and couple it with the network of services that the business requires.”

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Travel & Tourism | July 27, 2011 [ 8:59 ]

12 million passengers expected at Lima’s airport, this year

Jorge Chavez International Airport (Photo: Andina)
Passenger traffic at Jorge Chavez International Airport could reach 12 million by the end of 2011. The estimate comes from Luis Felipe Vallejo, general manager of the Peruvian Corporation of Airports and Commercial Aviation (Corpac).

"Lima’s airport leads passenger traffic in the country. Last year we had more than 11 million passengers, this year we could reach 12 million," he said.

He said other airports with high passenger traffic were Cusco, Iquitos (Loreto), Arequipa, Puerto Maldonado (Madre de Dios), Piura and Trujillo (La Libertad).

"At the Jorge Chavez airport we made approximately 400 daily operations, taking into account takeoffs and landings, however, some days we exceed that number by a lot," he told Andina news agency.

He emphasized that during the last five years, airport operations increased by nearly 70 percent nationwide, driven by the expansion of new routes and the entry of new airlines.

"Moreover, economic growth has been central to the expansion of this sector, since many people who previously traveled by bus in recent years have preferred to go by plane. This is also because there are now better prices when buying airline tickets," he said.

He said that in 2005 the Piura airport performed two to three operations a day, and 11 operations a day in 2011. A decade ago, the Cusco airport had eight to ten daily flights, now it serves 26 flights a day.

"At that time, the Cusco airport had half a million passengers, currently they have 1.7 million a year," he added.

Vallejo projected that the airport passenger traffic would continue at a growth rate of seven percent annually over the next five years.

"I believe we should get to about 15 or 16 million passengers without any problems by 2016," he said.

He stressed that building the second runway at Jorge Chavez airport would alleviate the increased traffic in the airport’s terminal.

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Travel & Tourism | July 26, 2011 [ 18:18 ]

Machu Picchu, Inca Trail can receive over 5400 visitors per day


Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. (Photo Andina / Percy Hurtado)
Peru’s Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (Mincetur) announced on Tuesday the results of the Limits of Acceptable Change and the Carrying Capacity Assessment of the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu which found that these tourist attractions can receive some 5479 visitors per day.

The carrying capacity of Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail is the maximum number of people who can visit the site at the same time, without causing significant damage or destruction of natural cultural monument or a reduction of unacceptable quality of visitor satisfaction.

“After a hard technical work we have concluded that Machu Picchu can receive up to 2 million visitors each year,” said Peru's Deputy Tourism Minister Mara Seminario.

However, Seminario noted that a proper management is required to implement the new capacity, and this will allow easing the flow and arrange the time of visits, as well as improving the infrastructure and implement a series of improvements.

The deputy minister added that the survey methodology carried out by consulting firm Candes and financed by World Bank’s Vilcanota project shows that the Effective Carrying Capacity, that is, the maximum number of visits that a monument can have at a specific moment, is 2200 visitors.

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Travel & Tourism | July 25, 2011 [ 13:46 ]

Authorities open new path in Machu Picchu

View of Machu Pichu from Wayna Pichu (Photo: Andina/Percy Hurtado)
Tourism authorities in Cusco announced they would be enabling a new path for visitors to Machu Picchu, in order to meet the recent record-high demand.

According to an article published in Andina, the new path to Machu Picchu would be under evaluation for 15 days and would allow visitors to see Inca walls, the natural landscape and Huayna Picchu.

This initiative benefited tourists who were prevented from entering early on Monday morning, because they had not been able to purchase tickets. The tourists had blocked off roads in protest.

The press announcement came after a meeting between Cusco’s Regional Director of Culture, Juan Julio Garcia Rivas, Regional Director of Foreign Trade and Tourism, Carlos Zuniga, and Peggy Morante, a representitive of Iperú.

Garcia explained that the route will be open from 6:00 a.m. Tuesday, and will allow an additional 400 tourists to enter per day.

He noted that if in 15 days there could be guarantees that the new area wouldn’t lead to a collapse, it could become a permanent pathway.

A decision regarding the paths future will depend on the Management Unit of Machu Picchu (UGM).

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Travel & Tourism | July 25, 2011 [ 12:44 ]

Tourism in Peru will generate $11 billion in 2021

Tourists in Machu Picchu (Photo:Andina/Percy Hurtado )
The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) predicts that tourism in Peru will grow at an average annual rate of 5.5 percent in 2012 reaching a record that would exceed 11 billion in 2021, informed the Lima Chamber of Commerce (CCL).

According to an article published in Andina, the WTTC’s report indicates that tourism directly contributed $6.3 - 4.3 percent of Peru’s GDP in 2010- to the economy.

These figures include the activities of hotels, travel agencies, airlines and other transportation services, restaurants and entertainment purchased by local and foreign tourists.

Although tourism increased at a rate of 4.1 percent last year, this was below the 9.1 percent in crease in 2009.

The slowdown in tourism growth is primarily due to domestic factors, specifically the city of Cusco, the main tourist destination, which in early 2010 suffered a sharp decline in tourist flow from 14.2 percent.

This was due to natural disasters that crippled the transport system and prompted the closure of Machu Picchu for three months, which resulted in the loss of approximately 6,000 jobs.

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Travel & Tourism | July 25, 2011 [ 8:58 ]

Tourists take over bridge, prevent access to Machu Picchu

Tourists in Machu Picchu (Photo: Andina/Archive)
The bridge located on the main access road to the Inca city of Machu Picchu was taken over by about 150 tourists, who did not get an entry ticket to visit the ruins.

They were not sold tickets because the site has a capacity of 2,500 visitors per day, in accordance with UNESCO guidelines.

Information provided by the tour guide Victor Yanez, and quoted by local radio RPP, noted that the buses that transport travelers to the area are stranded because the protesters were standing on the bridge and would not allow the buses to go through.

This morning, dozens of tourists, warned that if they were not given a solution they would take radical measures, including a march to the archaeological site to enter by force, or a blockage of the main road leading to the ruins.

Protestors also stated that if these problems were not solved in the next few hours they would continue their protest and express their criticism of the mistreatment they have suffered, through social networks.

Mayor Oscar Valencia Auca said that another group protested by putting their backpacks on the pre-Columbian city gate and attempted to take over the citadel. Valencia said that unless a solution was found soon, he would sue the Regional Directorate of Culture for the mess that is being generated locally.

Related Stories
Entry to Machu Picchu limited to 2,500 (by LIP, July 21, 2011)

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Travel & Tourism | July 22, 2011 [ 6:11 ]

Peru among best places to visit during lifetime


Machu Picchu (Photo: Andina )
Peru ranks among the top destinations everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime, as the Andean country is one of the most fascinating destinations in the world, according to an article published by the Manchester Evening News, Britain's biggest regional newspaper.

One of the oldest civilisations in the world, Peru is a destination that combines breathtaking landscapes with a rich culture, both modern and ancient. The mysterious Nazca lines make even the most cynical mind wonder whether Peruvians were once visited by aliens.

According to the paper, the traces from the Spanish Conquistadors, the Incas and the many isolated Indian communities give Peru a very peculiar cultural character, making it one of the most fascinating destinations in the world.

Archaelogical sites and monuments are not all that Peru has to offer though. Impressive climbing routes and walking paths, a rich landscape, traditional villages with closed self-sufficient communities and strong customs, open air musicians, delicious food and endless coastal valleys producing one of the most fragrant brandies in the world –the Peruvian Pisco.

The best way to explore Peru is to wake up early, and once you’ve enjoyed a nutritious breakfast, set out on a different journey each day.

The Andes, the Amazonian rainforest, lakes, labyrinthine cities, caves, pilgrimages to indigenous Gods, waterfalls, deep waters –a week in Peru is not enough. This is a destination where you will never run out of things to do.

Peru lends itself to all types of holidays, from backpacking and mountaineering, to staying with Peruvian families in their small village homes or spending the entire time relaxing at luxurious resorts.

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Travel & Tourism | July 21, 2011 [ 6:30 ]

Entry to Machu Picchu limited to 2,500 per day

Machu Picchu (Photo: El Comercio/Arhive )
After reaching a peak of 2,500 visitors per day, authorities responsible for the care of Machu Picchu stopped entry of more tourists, in order to ensure the preservation of the site, informed the Regional Office of Culture (DRC) of Cusco.

"As an institution we have internal and external standards to meet. Among them are the recommendations from UNESCO, and what is stated in the Master Plan for Machu Picchu, which states that only 2,500 people will enter the citadel every day," said Julio Dueñas, head of the Ticketing and Electronic Commerce Office of the DRC.

In an article published by Andina, Dueñas explained that 80 visitors were not able to enter the archaeological site.

"They arrived at Machu Picchu without an admission ticket. We have an office to sell tickets, but only if there are spaces, but there wasn’t any," he told Andina news agency.

As recommended by UNESCO, no tickets are sold at the entryway to Machu Picchu, he said.

"These dates are considered as part of the high season, which started this week and runs through mid August. We get visits mostly from Peruvian tourists," he said.

"In recent months there has been strong promotion for Machu Picchu and the hundredth anniversary of its discovery. Electronic ticketing always shows how many spaces are left, and we stress the importance of purchasing in advance," he said.

Unfortunately, he continued, many tour guides and informal agencies take advantage of tourists, and tell them not to worry about admission space to the citadel, or tell them they can get tickets at the entry to Machu Picchu.

"We have been disappointed by what happened yesterday, but we must enforce the rules. Today we have zero space for entry into Machu Picchu, the same goes for tomorrow and that is on the website."

Dueñas said that to avoid mishaps, the DRC would continue to work with the formal tourism agencies.

Recently the DRC announced that there would be a S/.14 increase to the admission fee to enter Huayna Picchu. The fee is now S/. 150

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Travel & Tourism | July 19, 2011 [ 13:48 ]

3,600 students in Trujillo, Peru to protect tourist sites

Visitors at the Temple of The Moon (Huaca de La Luna), outside Trujillo (Photo:Andina/Oscar Paz)
A total of 3,640 students from different schools and institutes in the province of Trujillo, La Libertad, will be trained in tourism awareness, ensuring their commitment to the protection of regional and national attractions.

Angelica Villanueva Guerrero, regional tourism deputy, stated that between April and June, fourth and fifth year students had been trained across 40 high schools in the city.

According to the report in Andina, Guerrero said that training would be divided into phases. In the first, the students would receive training that emphasized the importance of tourism, explaining the main attractions in the city and raising awareness of environmental conservation.

Then, she said, students would visit the main attractions in the city, including the Temples of the Sun and the Moon, the Chan Chan archeological zone, as well as old colonial houses and churches in the city.

The last stage of training, will involve the creation of a tourism club, which would be in charge of continuing the work done.

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