At least 2 million domestic and foreign tourists are expected to visit Peru's natural protected areas in 2017, State-run National Service of Natural Protected Areas (Sernanp) projected.
"More people want to visit natural protected areas. Our goal is to welcome 2 million visitors, and we can reach this figure by the end of the year thanks to investment and promotion measures," Sernanp's Tourism Department Head Pamela Salazar stated.
Likewise, Salazar highlighted over 1.8 million tourists visited various natural protected areas of the Andean country in 2016, driven by the good state of preservation of said sites.
In this sense, domestic and foreign travelers accounted for 70% and 30% of total visits, respectively.
Thanks to tourist inflow, these areas have seen a sustained annual growth of 17% since 2009.
The most visited natural protected areas in 2016 were: Ballestas Islands, Paracas National Reserve (Ica region), Huascaran National Park (Ancash), Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary (Cusco), Tingo Maria National Park (Huanuco) and Tambopata National Reserve (Madre de Dios), among others.
In addition, the Peruvian Government invested more than S/20 million (around US$6.12 million) in projects aimed at improving services in various natural protected areas, including Paracas National Reserve, among others.