Peru takes “emergency” steps to recover tourism after the pandemic

By June 6, 2022

Peru’s Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism recently published an “Emergency Plan for the Tourism Sector,” which contains several measures aimed at helping the tourism industry recover amid a steep downturn related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The plan proposes 60 rules and actions that will provide more economic support, increase investment and promote Peruvian tourist attractions. One of the main measures involves rescheduling payments on loans the Peruvian government granted tourism companies during the pandemic.

The plan sets the ambitious goal of attracting 1 million international tourists in 2022, along with booking 25 million internal tourism trips and creating 900,000 jobs in the sector. 

Citadel of Machu Picchu, Peru. Photo by Willian Justen de Vasconcellos on Unsplash

In a statement to the television program “24 Horas,” the president of the National Chamber of Tourism (CANATUR), Carlos Canales, outlined the current state of Peru’s tourism crisis.

“Tourists are not coming. We barely had 280,000 tourists from abroad in the first three months of 2022. Before, there were approximately 450,000 tourists in a single month,” he said.

According to Mr. Canales, if this emergency plan is not carried out, it could cause “the closure and bankruptcy of 25,000 companies and 250,000 people could lose their jobs.”

Peru’s Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism reported that in 2019, before the pandemic, Peru received 4.4 million foreign tourists. In 2020 the country saw 900,000 tourists and in 2021 only 400,000 foreigners visited the Andean nation.

Market that offers handycrafts from the Peruvian highlands. Photo by Peter Livesey on Unsplash

According to Peru’s Central Reserve Bank, between 2020 and 2021 Peru lost at least USD $7.4 billion in foreign capital from tourism, falling from USD $4.7 billion in revenue in 2019 to USD $1.003 billion in 2020, and to USD $1.042 billion in 2021.

“The Government is fully committed to improving tourism. And a clear example is this plan, a joint effort by all the regions to overcome the crisis,” Tourism Minister Roberto Sánchez said in a statement.

He also assured that “boosting employment and increasing tourism” for Peruvians and foreigners are the main objectives of the government “to reactivate the sector in the shortest possible time.”