11:58 | Cusco, Mar. 29 (ANDINA).
The Andean region of Cusco in southeastern Peru received a total of two million 345 domestic and foreign tourists in 2011, an 18 percent increase compared to 2010, according to official figures.
Victor Perez, head of the regional office for trade and tourism, said that of this total, one million 198,679 were foreigners and 801,666 were nationals, with over 80 percent of visitors having visited the archaeological site of Machu Picchu.
He said that people also toured alternative places such as Sacsayhuaman, Ollantaytambo, Pisac, Chinchero, Tipon and Cusco's Historical Center, and explored new attractions like the Suykutambo Canyon in Espinar and the archaeological site of Quillarumiyoc in Anta.
"Undoubtedly, the magnetism of Machu Picchu impresses and makes tourists return again and again, many agree that it is very different to look it on pictures than to see it first hand," he told Andina.
Perez also stressed that the media attention and promotion of the Inca citadel, recently voted as the "top destination to visit before you die", generates much expectation.