The Andean Parliament declared Qhapaq Ñan (Inca Trail) a Cultural Heritage of the Andean Community in recognition of its historical value and regional integration function.
"It is essential that other countries in the region officially value and highlight the importance of the extensive road system used by our ancestors; 60,000 kilometers of land uniting Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru," Andean Parliament member Mario Zuñiga stated.
According to Zuñiga, said declaration also indicates Qhapaq Ñan must be promoted as a world heritage via an environmentally-friendly strategy, which highlights the tourist circuits' benefits.
The legislator also pointed out the main goal is to consider this Andean Road System as an opportunity for regional integration, development
and cultural identity of nearby populations.
Lastly, he affirmed the Andean Parliament will work on institutional agreements with authorities to turn Qhapaq Ñan into a regional brand, which will contribute to increasing tourist arrivals.
According to UNESCO, this site is an extensive Inca communication, trade and defense network of roads.
"Constructed by the Incas over several centuries and partly based on pre-Inca infrastructure, this extraordinary network through one of the world's most extreme geographical terrains linked the snow-capped peaks of the Andes –at an altitude of more than 6,000 masl– to the coast, running through hot rainforests, fertile valleys, and absolute deserts," it stressed.
It reached its maximum expansion in the 15th century when it expanded across the length and breadth of the Andes.
The Qhapaq Ñan includes 273 component sites spread over more than 6,000 km that were selected to highlight social, political, architectural and engineering achievements of the network, along with its associated infrastructure for trade, accommodation, and storage, as well as sites of religious significance.