Peru's robust tourism industry
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Peru's robust tourism industry

Magali Silva Velarde-Alvarez, Peru’s Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism (Mincetur) revealed on Tuesday that the country served as host to 3.21 million international tourists in 2014.

Average tourist expenditure climbed to $992 per head from 2013’s $985, a step closer to the tourist expenditure world average of $1,100.

GDP and job prospects

“For our country, inbound economic tourism movement was a reported $ 3,832 million, ranking second place as a generator of non-traditional sector foreign exchange, after agricultural exports. This is despite the unfavorable economic conditions in some major markets,” Alvarez said.

“Tourism in Peru accounts for about four percent of GDP and generates more than one million jobs,” she added.

Fifty-eight percent of Peru’s international tourists were from Latin America, with 62 percent visiting the country for leisure purposes and holidays, and 15 percent for business trips. Revenues from 2011 to 2014 increased by 64 percent.

Data showed that Australia leads the countries with the highest average spending at $2,600, followed by the United Kingdom at $2,500. Germany and Italy also made it to the top of the list with $2,200 and $2,219, respectively.

Mexico tops the charts

Tourists of a higher-economic ranking, those who enter the country through the Jorge Chavez International Airport or use travel agencies, have an average spending of $2,344, relatively higher than average.

Alvarez noted that 35 percent of the tourists came from the Pacific Alliance made up of Mexico, Colombia, Chile, and Peru, highlighting the importance of the bloc.

Earlier this month, Alvarez announced that more than 2 million tourists visited Peru in the first seven months of 2015. This is an 8.4 percent growth from the same period last year. Only this July, 332, 645 tourists went to Peru, a 20.5 percent increase from the previous month.

In 2014, Mexico has the highest number of international tourists in Latin America with 29 million visitors. Argentina trails behind with 5.81 million tourists, and Brazil with 5.81 million. Peru is in 7th place, while Panama ranks last place at 1.75 million visitors.

Looking forward to 2016…

Alvarez estimates that the number of international tourists visiting Peru will reach 4 million by the end of next year. During 2016, Peru will play host to the 2nd UNWTO World Forum on Food Tourism in April, and the Peruvian Gastronomy and Tourism Week will be held during October next year, set to attract hundreds of thousands of visitors.

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