Sara Thopson - Mar 6, 2023
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If there is something that draws attention to Peru, it is its tourist attraction. In addition to being synonymous with culture, biodiversity and gastronomy, the country has one of the most precious treasures on the planet: Machu Picchu. However, after Covid-19, tourism in Peru has had a hard time recovering.

Before the pandemic, Peru attracted 4.5 million tourists, mostly to the Inca capital, where Machu Picchu is located, a place that has been considered one of the 7 wonders of the world on several occasions. However, tourism in Peru has not fully recovered and in 2022 the figures were not very encouraging.

Specifically, last year, the arrival of 3.5 million foreign tourists was expected, although about 2 million finally entered - according to the report presented by the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (Mincetur). That means -54.0% compared to 2019. The positive thing is that they were many more than in 2021, when only about 445 thousand visitors were registered, which corresponds to an increase of 352.2%.

As in previous years, most visitors came from the United States, followed by Chile, Ecuador, Colombia and Bolivia.

Main Tourist Attractions Visited

In detail, visits to the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu exceeded one million, compared to 461 thousand in 2021. Of this figure, domestic tourists reached 326 thousand (31.4%), while foreign tourists were 712 thousand (68.6%).

For its part, the Moray Archaeological Complex received 511 thousand visitors, which meant a growth of 95.9% compared to the previous year and a decrease of 9.4% compared to what was reported in 2019.

Meanwhile, the Paracas National Reserve and the Ballestas Islands were visited by 458 thousand and 438 thousand of visitors, respectively.  In terms of foreign exchange, around US$2.8 billion were generated, -40% compared to 2019.

Peruvians Traveled Abroad More by 250%

As for the outflow of Peruvian residents, it was specified that it was 2.1 million people, which meant an additional flow of 1.5 million (+243.2%) compared to the previous year. However, it is still 35.3% below the levels reached in 2019. It is worth noting that, among the destinations chosen, Chile was the preferred one, followed by the United States, Mexico, Colombia and Spain.

The most popular travel destinations chosen by domestic travelers were Cusco, Arequipa, Piura, Tarapoto and Iquitos. While others decided to leave the country and visit the beaches of Cartagena and San Andres in Colombia, Cancun in Mexico and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.

Machu Picchu Reopened

After almost a month of conservation and maintenance work by specialists from the Decentralized Directorate of Culture of Cusco (DDC Cusco), the Cápac Ñan or the Inca Trail network that leads to the citadel of Machu Picchu resumed its attention to national and foreign tourists.

"The works consisted of making drains for heavy rains, the reinforcement of wall heads and stairway, retaining walls, cutting of vegetation," said the director of the DDC Cusco, Maritza Rosa Candia.

In addition, he pointed out that now the security for the access of local, national and foreign visitors is guaranteed and it is only necessary to take the services of a formal tourism agency to use and undertake the journey.

The authorities expect that tourism in Peru should greatly benefit from the reopening. Machu Picchu has a capacity of 4,044 visitors per day, according to the Ministerial resolution.

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