13:00 | Puno (Puno region), Jan. 12.
If the problems affecting the Andean region of Puno are not solved, the traditional Virgen de la Candelaria festivity (one of the most important celebrations in Peru) will not take place, and not only tourism but also investment in the sector will be affected.
The remarks were made by Raquel Laura Asillo, head of the Peruvian Association of Travel Agencies and Tourism of Puno
, who stressed the need to hold La Candelaria festival
in any event; otherwise, the consequences may be very serious for the region
, as one of the main pillars of Puno's economy is the February festivity.
"We lament what happened to so many victims, and we respect the pain of relatives, but the situation will be more serious if La Candelaria festival is not held, even more so if it is an activity that has not been held since 2021 due to the health pandemic,
" she explained.
In remarks to Andina news agency before the events of recent days, the association's head estimated daily economic losses
at S/250,000 (about US$66,102) in the accommodation, tour, and restaurant domains.
Furthermore, she said that 98% of reservations had been cancelled
since the first protests began in December
and all of January, "because for us this month has been lost already." Yet La Candelaria is celebrated in February, which brings in more than S/100 million (US$26.44 million) in revenue
"We hoped that the sector was going to recover as of February and reservations were going to remain in place because the most important festival was back, but unfortunately, due to these events, this is not the case and cancellations have begun," Laura Asillo stated.
"Besides, if the situation does not get better in the south of the country, it will be very complicated," she added.
The officer noted that investment has been made toward this festivity, in terms of costumes, infrastructure, musicians, reservations, and other related issues, which can be lost if the festival is not held.
Moreover, she went on to say that travel agencies have not registered revenues; while hotels and restaurants are facing very serious problems, too.