Within the framework of the IMEX in Frankfurt international fair, dedicated especially to meeting tourism, Travel2latam spoke with Elisabeth Hakim, Executive of the European Market at PROMPERÚ, a government entity of Peru, attached to the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism.
What is the state of tourism in Peru today?
Tourism in Peru today is in the process of recovery. Our main task as a promoting entity at this time is the reactivation of tourism that was stopped during the pandemic and that in December of last year had some problems, so our goal is not only to reach, but to exceed the figures of 2019.
At this moment the Government is committed to supporting tourism entrepreneurs, which is why we are here at IMEX Frankfurt with 10 companies that are offering what Peru is as a destination for meetings, especially for incentives, congresses and events. Peru is an ideal country, a perfect destination for those groups that seek not only to go to have a meeting, but also a change, an experience that unites them with their team, and that makes them feel better as people. Peru is ideal for holding a different meeting, with a purpose, and at Promperú we want to carry that message.
Are there new developments and projects in terms of infrastructure?
Before the pandemic, they really stopped a bit, but now they are picking up again and there are many infrastructure projects that are going to be developed both in Lima, which is the capital, and in cities like Cusco or Arequipa, also in the north in the city of Trujillo. In addition, a new trend of looking beyond Lima or Cusco is taking place, with businessmen paying attention to other cities both in the north and in the south that are ideal for their investments.
What is the state of Peru regarding connectivity?
We are also recovering air connectivity, which is very important to us because it is the way tourists arrive. Promperú has been working for some years and is currently resuming joint work with the airlines with more force, in the sense of supporting an airline that increases flights or increases its capacity, either by carrying a larger plane or encouraging them to make offers. So we are creating strategic alliances with airlines to do more publicity together, with a call to action that encourages travelers to fly and take advantage of offers and opportunities, without leaving their visit pending for future years.
What is the origin of the markets that go to Peru?
Europe has a main emitter that is Spain, where there are many cultural ties with respect to Peru and it is also a market that has recovered very well. We have been at FITUR this year with almost 30 companies and all of them have been very satisfied with how quickly the market has reacted, that is, there is growing interest and this is already materializing, so there is a lot of market satisfaction Spanish, both from them to us, and from us to them.
Another very attractive market is that of France, we have been to a fair last year and we have also been pleasantly surprised by the interest they have there for Peru, especially for culture. Peru is a destination that is always present in terms of its culture, providing the opportunity for a traveler to establish a relationship with our community that lives and maintains its traditions. Our country has nature, wonderful mountains, lakes, the Amazon, but above all its cultural richness is highly appreciated in Europe.
Which are the countries that are most interested in the MICE area?
The North American market in general is very strong, both the United States and Canada. We also have four commercial offices in the United States, where specific work is carried out to increasingly attract this sector, and of course, all this goes hand in hand with Peruvian businessmen, who make familiarization or press trips; For this reason, the private sector works jointly with the public sector to attract more and more events, conventions and meetings.
What could we say are the classic destinations and destinations in search of greater knowledge and development?
Cusco is one of the classic destinations, which has been a main point of visit over time, but what we have done and worked on for some years now is to make Lima one more destination. That is to say, before Lima was the bridge or passing destination to go to Cusco and now it has gained a reputation through gastronomy and culture, both ancient and modern, so Lima is a destination that is getting stronger every time. In addition, we have very interesting destinations in the south of Peru, such as the South Circuit, where 80% of visitors go.
And I would tell you that one of the novelties that has been gaining a lot of interest lately is the Amazon, especially after the pandemic, due to its nature and richness in the open air. Then I think of a destination that is Iquitos, where visitors can take a cruise on the Amazon River and have the opportunity to be in the middle of nature. In addition, another destination that we are giving a lot of push to is the ancient north, the Peruvian coast, which is a desert on the edge of the sea with a rich history and archaeological legacy, which many visitors do not notice because they are focused on the great part of the Incas in the south, but really where everything is born is in this area of the north; so we also work hard to attract interest to those regions that we could consider as “new”.
Is Machu Picchu a destination that is also in recovery?
Look, this is the ideal time to go to Machu Picchu, because it is recovering but we still do not have large masses of travelers, so the visitor can go and really enjoy a quiet visit and have that important connection, not only with the archaeological legacy, but also with nature, which is very special.