dot Travel Domains: Peru was present at FITUR making the country’s rich gastronomy known, as well as revealing some novelties that will take place this year. Could we get some updates on these developments?
Sandra Doig Alberdi: One of the most important innovations for the tourism sector is the inauguration of the Kuelap Cable Car: now travelers wishing to arrive at the Kuélap Fortress, from the Nuevo Tingo district (located in Luya province), will travel with the cable cars along 4 kilometers and reach their destination in just 20 minutes (it used to be a tour by car that took 90 minutes for a distance of 32 kilometers). This project will be open to the public as of March 2nd.
dot Travel: FITUR presents itself as a very useful tool to boost business within the tourism sector and as a very good opportunity to contact tour operators in order to identify new promotional opportunities. What is the outcome of your participation this 2017?
S. Doig Alberdi: The 20 Peruvian co-exhibitor companies were quite satisfied after having meetings with the main tour operators and airlines of the market. They are convinced of the great stability of Spain within the markets of the European continent and we were able to confirm that this great fair remains attentive to the quality and importance of the international companies that it invites to participate. The excellent valuation of the fair as a forum for international operations should be noted, where thousands of bilateral meetings were restlessly held.
dot Travel: To travel to Peru is to awaken dormant dreams, connect with yourself, and immerse yourself in 5 thousand years of living history … How have you managed to capture the attention and transmit this essence to the future visitor?
S. Doig Alberdi: Peru is a destination full of history, culture and nature. It has Lima, its capital, where you can enjoy the best gastronomy; with natural reserves in the desert of Paracas and Lake Titicaca, biospheres like the Manu,the greatest diversity of the Amazon, a natural wonder; with the Lines of Nasca; with colonial jewels like Arequipa, the white city; with emblems like Cusco, one of the most seductive cities in the world for its harmony between tradition and cosmopolitanism. Peru also has an unbeatable attraction: Machu Picchu, the lost citadel of the Incas, one of the new Wonders of the World. There is a Peru for everyone.
dot Travel: Your website focuses on the importance of adventure tourism and gastronomy. What are the highlights? What makes Peru different from the rest of the world?
S. Doig Alberdi: Peru is one of the 10 mega diverse countries of the world; it contains countless natural riches with hundreds of endemic species of fauna and flora; it is a paradise for birdwatching and orchids or for the exploration of mythical and remote natural landscapes, some still virgin, always full of life.
dot Travel: Indeed, a report notes that 42% of foreign tourists considered gastronomy as an aspect to take into account when choosing Peru as a tourist destination. It is a percentage to take into account …
S. Doig Alberdi: Peruvian gastronomy has been considered a priority in this government because it incorporates many agents throughout the production chain revitalizing our multicultural identity and because it allows us to promote Peru as a tourist destination without equals for the great added value that is our cuisine. Gastronomy is directly associated with tourism: it respects tradition, seeks sustainability, authenticity and experience; it is a contributor to tourism in our country, as reflected in the Profile of the Foreign Tourist, a study prepared by PROMPERÚ.
For the cultural tourists who visit Peru, gastronomy gives a nation its identity, it is part of its culture and the customs of the people because it gives identity to a city or country, it reflects the culture of the people, it allows to experience the original flavors of the culture of a place.
dot Travel: Tourism is a very important sector for the economy of any region. How was 2016 from the tourist point of view and what are the expectations for 2017?
S. Doig Alberdi: We ended 2016 with almost 9% growth over 2015, which was also an excellent year. Even in the years of crisis, the number of visitors did not fall, it stopped growing strongly, but it continued to grow. Peru has a very particular market, many tourists are motivated by the destination. As 2017 begins, with the purpose of facilitating and expediting arrivals, the country is carrying out a process of expansion of its infrastructures.
dot Travel: In addition, ‘Peru Travel’, the application developed by PromPerú for mobile devices, has been selected as one of the three finalists of the competition “The AppTourism Awards” in the category “Destination Guide” …
S. Doig Alberdi: In addition to the recognition of Peru Travel, technology was another component of the Peruvian offering at Fitur 2017. In this sense, PROMPERU exhibited digital tools for attendees such as the Peru Travel and Pisco Perú applications, as well as 360 degree images and Videos in 3D that allowed to virtually travel our country.
dot Travel: What is the profile of the average tourist visiting Peru?
S. Doig Alberdi: In 2015 Peru received 3.28 million visits from foreign tourists, a figure that represented an increase of 7.4% compared to 2014. Foreign tourists visiting Peru have an average age of 40, most of them with annual incomes of less than $40,000, 63% are men, 26% are executive or technical professionals, and 13% are service employees; they travel to Peru for vacations, recreation or leisure, which remains the main reason for visits in recent years. The average total cost per tourist is $994.
dot Travel: An adequate tourism promotion strategy also requires an attractive and efficient portal, as it is the first place to search for tourist information. How is Peru’s website making its main tourist attractions known and differentiating itself? What are its distinguishing features?
S. Doig Alberdi: The travel portal www.peru.travel is available in several languages, such as American English, British English, Portuguese, Italian, French, German and Japanese. That way, we seek to position our country among the main search engines worldwide, such as Google, Yahoo or Bing. In this site you will find official tourist information of all the destinations of our country, which is the reason why it is usually used by the travelers who look for updated information on Peru.
dot Travel: Based on your background and experience, what conditions must an official website meet to be of excellent quality and a guarantee for success? How do you improve and optimize online promotion?
S. Doig Alberdi: As everything is constantly changing, relevancy in positioning is defined when you are really relevant to consumers and our website has proven to be extremely useful for travelers.
dot Travel: How and when did you get to know .travel and started working with us? What has been the evolution?
S. Doig Alberdi: Since 2006, and the evolution has been very favorable: in 2014 peru.travel managed to win the World Travel Awards in the World’s Leading Tourism Authority Website category and has been a finalist in the 2015 and 2016 versions. In terms of annual accumulated traffic in 2014, we reached 3,023,057 and by 2015 the numbers doubled reaching 6,415,960 visits.
dot Travel: Companies and businesses have realized the importance of being part of the digital world in order not to lose their competitiveness. How has .travel helped to achieve and maintain this competitiveness?
S. Doig Alberdi: Digital age marketing is based on metrics and return on investment. All the versions of peru.travel that benefited from strategic planning have received mainly traffic coming from that source.
dot Travel: Choosing the right domain/brand on the Internet is the first step towards success online. What are the main advantages that generic domains bring to official tourism sites in the case of .travel?
S. Doig Alberdi: It brings greater prestige, and they are easier to position and remember. On the other hand, adwords charge less and are more effective. We must work properly for the investment to yield its benefits.
dot Travel: Does the future look optimistic?
S. Doig Alberdi: PROMPERÚ sees the future with optimism, the objective is to contribute effectively to the sustained and decentralized growth of the resources generated by tourism. The goal for 2021 is to reach 7 million international tourists and to achieve a growth of 17.2% by 2017, for which we have been working in 22 international markets differentiated by various activities on primary, strategic, emerging and exploratory markets. In this context we want to position Peru as an attractive tourist destination at the international level, increasing cash flow and spending, diversifying tourism promotion.