APEC Peru 2024: Ministers safeguard tourism sector's role as driver of economic growth

Photo: ANDINA/Melina Mejía

Photo: ANDINA/Melina Mejía

08:37 | Urubamba (Cusco region), Jun. 10.

Tourism ministers from Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies are coordinating their policies in a bid to make the industry more accessible, inclusive, and sustainable.

Meeting in Urubamba —a city within the Incas Sacred Valley in Cusco region— ministers confronted the changing face of tourism: price increases and inflation pressures; extreme weather; labor shortages; and infrastructure strain caused by pent-up demand.

The ministers' agenda is focused on innovation and the use of digital tools to facilitate the transition of informal stakeholders to the formal economy; resilient tourism and optimizing sustainable tourism supply chains; plus, reducing food loss and waste in APEC economies.

In her opening remarks at the 12th Tourism Ministerial Meeting, Minister Elizabeth Galdo highlighted that 50% of Peru's annual international tourists come from APEC economies.

This year, Peru aims to increase international tourist arrival to 4.4 million from 2.5 million in 2023, and 48 million domestic trips. These goals are estimated to generate around 1.5 million jobs and increase tourism's contribution to 4% of GDP in 2024.

"The arrival of tourists to Peru from the Asia-Pacific region accounted for over 52% of total arrivals, representing an increase of 50.6% compared to the same period in 2023," Galdo said.

"This recovery represents almost 69% of pre-pandemic levels for the same period," she added.

Minister Galdo explained that the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu —80 kilometers northwest of Cusco— attracted close to one million visitors in 2023, making Cusco one of the most important drivers of economic development in Peru.

"More than that, balancing the conservation of the historic site and increasing the numbers of visitors to the site has demonstrated Peru's commitment to developing sustainable and innovative tourism," Galdo noted.

"Initiatives that include planning and management of this important tourist site, as well as improving its dynamic capacity, will help preserve the buildings of Machu Picchu and the communities around it. (…) We are aware that there is still much to learn and to do," she added. 

According to the government official, Peru is eager to strengthen APEC initiatives that will make tourism a sustainable, innovative, and inclusive sector in tune with the current circumstances.

"We are ready to confront the tasks ahead," she expressed.

In line with the overarching theme of "Empower. Include. Grow," Peru has set its tourism priorities to advance innovative approaches to address current challenges in the tourism sector. This includes formalizing businesses, as well as fostering sustainability and resilience to realize the full economic potential of all people.

Leveraging digital technologies to improve efficiency, transparency, and resilience of the tourism sector were highlighted during the meeting as it can empower micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises to transition to the formal economy and gain market access.

"We must continue our cooperation, exchange ideas, identify best practices, and formulate joint strategies that promote sustainable growth and competitiveness in the tourism industry in our region, leaving a positive legacy for future generations," Minister Galdo concluded.

Peru is hosting APEC for the third time after the 2008 and 2016 editions.

Editor's note: Information issued by the 12th APEC Tourism Ministerial Meeting.


Publicado: 10/6/2024