More than 2000 tourists visit Machu Picchu every day, tourism ministry officials said.
Machu Picchu, the 15th-century city perched around 2,500 metres above sea level is the most visited site in South America, a pillar of the Cusco region and the source of 90 per cent of Peru's tourist revenues, according to the country's finance ministry.
The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) ranks Peru as the fifth fastest growing country for business travel and tourism, out of 20 in Latin America. The WTTC estimates the real impact of travel and tourism in Peru will be worth almost $10bn this year, rising to $18bn by 2020.
In Peru in 2009, along with the local traders, who largely relied on revenues through tourism, the hotels are also believed to have braced for the upcoming season. The Trade and Tourism Ministry says Peru in 2009 boasts of 1,784 hotels, up from 1,358 in 2001. The number of four and five-star hotels has nearly doubled to 63 from 34 in the same period, with another seven hotels expected to be up and running by the end of 2011. The occupancy levels have considerably increased particularly because of the stupendous growth of the tourism industry.
The government estimates the heavy rains of January and February has inflicted Peru’s tourism sector around $160mn in lost business