Machu Picchu demonstrators interrupt tourism due to ticket affairs

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Protests Disrupt Tourism at Machu Picchu Over Ticket Sales

Popular tourist destination Machu Picchu in Peru was marred by protests by locals and tour operators against the government’s decision to privatize ticket sales. They launched an “indefinite strike,” shutting shops and blocking train tracks, report from the Reader Wall says.

Strike Against Privatization

The protesters displayed their dissatisfaction with the decision by executing a range of actions. These included playing drums loudly, waving flags, and calling for the resignation of the culture minister. They were expressing their opposition to what they termed as the “systematic privatization of Machu Picchu.”

Darwin Baca, a representative of the local community, claimed that the ticketing company assigned to manage sales, Joinnus, had been taken on board illegally. He emphasized that the local community was not in agreement with the contract awarded to this company.

Impact on Tourism

From what the Reader Wall gathered, the protest has already started affecting tourists’ visits to the iconic Inca citadel. Some tourists even had to walk the last three kilometers to reach the site due to blockades laid out by the protestors.

Many incoming tourists expressed understanding of the protest’s reasons but pointed out that it disrupted their planned visits. Maria Jose Medrano, a tourist from Colombia, revealed that being caught up in the strike felt strange, especially since they had paid for their tours.

Government’s Perspective

Despite the ongoing protests, the Ministry of Culture claimed that visits to Machu Picchu were proceeding as usual. Ana Pena, an advisor to the Ministry of Culture, defended the new ticketing system, saying that it was put in place to control visitor flow and help preserve the popular historic site.

Pena rejected the claims of privatization and said, “We have to ensure absolute control of all the people who enter our citadel.” She raised concerns about the site being removed from the UNESCO World Heritage list due to potential degradation as a result of excessive visitors.

Preserving Machu Picchu

Last September, Peru had to temporarily shut off access to some parts of Machu Picchu to manage the impact of a large volume of visitors. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an architectural marvel, Machu Picchu attracts millions of visitors every year. This surge in footfall has triggered concerns over the historic site’s preservation, leading to these measures.

Meanwhile, the daily limit of access tickets has been raised from 3,800 to 4,500 to balance access and conservation. The implications of this move, however, might trigger another round of protests in the future.

Glen

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