Protests over tourism development law could cost Cusco millions daily

Possible protests over the approval of a contentious tourism development law could cost Peru’s tourism capital millions of dollars daily. The president of the Lima Chamber of Commerce, Samuel Gleiser, told Radio Programas radio Cusco will lose 20 million soles, about $6.8 million, a day if regional and municipal authorities go ahead with threats to block access to the city’s airport and Machu Picchu, the ancient citadel of the Incas and the country’s top tourist attraction.

“The damage to Peruvian tourism could be irreparable, which is senseless considering Peru is in the eyes of the world,” Gleiser said Friday in reference to the 2008 APEC Forum scheduled in Peru later this year.

The uncertainty in Cusco has also prompted the Foreign Commerce and Tourism Ministry to consider relocating APEC meetings scheduled in the former Inca capital in early April.

Regional authorities in Cusco originally said they were considering organizing protests for Friday, however daily Correo reported the departments president, Hugo Gonzales, saying they could now be on Monday. The representative for Cusco’s Regional Assembly, Efraín Yépez, said the protests “will be symbolic, no more than two or three hours.”

Congress approved the tourism development law on Wednesday, which eases private investment in tourism services like new hotels and restaurants adjacent to Peru’s rich archeological ruins and historic sites.

Lawmakers supporting the legislation tried to ease tensions with opponents by adding a complementary bill granting regional governments total discretionary power to determine with the National Culture Institute, INC, the list of sites where tourism services can be developed.

Sharing is caring!

Comments are closed.