More than 40,000 tourists visited the Paracas National Reserve and Ballestas Islands in Peru's southern Ica region in the recent national holidays that commemorated Peru's Independence Day, Tourism and Foreign Trade Chamber (Capatur) Chairman Eduardo Jauregui has revealed.
Jauregui highlighted that the figure exceeded the expectations that were set before the long holiday weekend.
According to the head of Capatur, visitors filled 2 and 3-star hotels, while 4 and 5-star hotels managed to attract visitors, mostly from Lima, in the last two days.
"Last year, there were travel restrictions on flights abroad and all those people opted to stay at 5-star hotels in Paracas. This year, flights returned to normal and said group of people chose to travel to Cancun (Mexico) and Punta Cana (Dominican Republic)," he said.
The Capatur official explained that 95% of the more than 40,000 visitors to Paracas —based on official data— came from different parts of Peru and the remaining 5% were foreigners.
Out of the total number of visitors —he said— more than 23,000 visited the Ballestas Islands, which are part of the Guano Islands, Islets, and Capes National Reserve System.
Jauregui pointed out that Paracas received 30,000 visitors on Independence Day holidays in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.
"A growth of 30% was witnessed when compared to Independence Day holidays in 2019. That is because Paracas has hotels for all budgets, first rate restaurants and, above all, an excellent weather," he explained.