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Peru's protected areas and their multiplier effect on tourism

Photo for Tourism Multiplier Story
Interviewers Milagros Estrada and Luis Bernal, Huancaya, Nor Yauyos-Cochas Landscape Reserve. Photo: Annie Escobedo.

Many decision-makers in government largely see resources allocated to protected areas as expenses rather than investments. Therefore there is often resistance to both meeting the financial needs of the existing system and for system expansion. This perspective reflects a lack of information about the benefits generated by protected areas, and equally important, inadequate and ineffective communication of these benefits. One of these benefits is the “multiplier effect” of protected areas in the tourism sector- referring to the flow of goods, services, and money from one person or company to another, and onto society.

With support from the Andes Amazon Fund, CSF is working to address this lack of information and communication in Peru by analyzing how protected areas attract such spending from both national and international visitors, including spending on hotels, food, tours, transportation and handicrafts. The goal is to quantify total tourism-derived economic activity – both directly and through multipliers – from a sample of prioritized Peruvian protected areas including Tambopata, Pacaya-Samiria, Paracas, Ausangate, Machu-Picchu and Nor Yauyos Cochas. This information is being generated by in person interviews with tourists, lodge and hotel owners, and other relevant actors in the tourism sector. In July and August of this year, CSF analysts have been on the ground conducting surveys to tourists, tourism related business-owners and their employers. We have seen first-hand the huge number of visitors that the protected areas in Peru receive, particularly in places like Ausangate, in Cusco, and Tambopata in Madre de Dios.

The last stage of this field work was in the Nor Yauyos-Cochas Landscape Reserve, where CSF Analyst Annie Escobedo led a team of three interviewers, conducting more than 120 surveys in six days!

Stay tuned for a launch event in Lima to present our analysis as well as a technical report at the end of 2017.