Peru has been hard hit by Covid-19, but with cases now falling and vaccination rates picking up, thoughts are turning to the reopening of the tourism sector.
Here Breaking Travel News speaks to Amora Carbajal, executive director with tourist board Promperú, about how the country plans to bounce back from the most challenging of years.
Breaking Travel News: Where does Peru stand with the reopening of the tourism sector in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic? Are you currently in a position to welcome international guests?
Amora Carbajal: Peru has been hit hard by the pandemic, but throughout this year we have worked incessantly on a plan to reactivate tourism in a safe way.
It is a bucket list destination for many people around the world, in which tourism is an engine of development and economic activity for many regions in which it is the main activity.
That is why currently, after having implemented the necessary measures for a responsible and safe promotion of local and international tourism, we feel ready to receive tourists who choose to come, ensuring security measures and impeccable protocols in our services, in addition to our well-known hospitality and Peruvian warmth.
We are also making steady progress with the Safe Travels seals in different places in Peru such as Iquitos, Cusco, Arequipa, Kuelap, La Libertad, the northern beaches in Piura, among many others.
BTN: What permanent changes do you feel will follow Covid-19 – in what ways has travel changed forever?
AC: I think there is a lot to reflect on and analyse as a result of this challenging time.
The ways in which travel has changed forever involve, to a great extent, the care, the preparation, the sanitary quality of the travel services in every aspect and place.
A traveller must always be able to feel safe and calm in order to enjoy their trip.
For this, providing optimal conditions, flexibility, facilities, ensuring a minimum standard of cleaning and disinfection, safe spaces and eliminating the risk of infection are essential.
I am convinced that this new way of traveling will persist over time because we have realized, both those who work in the industry and passengers, that our health and well-being are very fragile and valuable and must be put above all.
BTN: How does Promperú plan to reacquaint travellers with what is on offer in the destination over the coming months – how are you going to promote the country in the wake of the pandemic?
AC: We have been promoting the destination for some time through a campaign called “Dream then travel” that invited future visitors to think and dream of Peru in order to meet again with all the security measures.
Now, we are currently launching the “Awaken to Per”” campaign to a specific target segment that invites travellers to come and find the best prices and tourist services with all the security measures, including of course the Safe Travels seals which are a great way to promote these destinations to our guests so they can enjoy safe visits to the most emblematic places of Peru.
BTN: What are your aspirations in terms of visitor numbers for this year and next, as the country recovers from a slowdown over the past year?
AC: In this process of tourism reactivation, we go hand in hand with the vaccination campaign that already began in Peru in February and also with the opening of businesses related to the travel industry, in addition to the protocols that have already been implemented and put into practice for several months for the local and regional tourist.
So, depending on how everything progresses regarding the pandemic worldwide and within logical margins, considering that there are still routes and connections that will resume as time passes, we believe that by the end of this year we can be very optimistic regarding the arrivals of foreign visitors eager to visit our wonders.
BTN: Peru has been nominated for a number of top titles at the World Travel Awards, including recognition for the cultural, cruise and culinary sectors. How important is this honour for Peru?
AC: It is a true honour to participate as nominees and to be considered within so many categories with the best destinations and tourist services in the world.
In addition, it is important to highlight that Peru is a destination that has a lot to offer regarding nature and adventure, for which I anticipate that we still have wonderful places and experiences that one day will appear in these nominations.
It is important to us because after a very difficult and particularly devastating year for the tourism industry, we are preparing to shine again, to be able to warmly welcome our visitors as we always have.
It is really exciting what comes from now on when people who have been dreaming about Machu Picchu, after a long confinement, can finally fulfil that dream and also be amazed by visiting other wonderful places in Peru, getting to know its culture, feel its kindness and of course being blown away by its gastronomy.
To vote for Promperú at the World Travel Awards, head over to the official website.