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Protests called off at Peru's Machu Picchu: minister

By AFP

January 31, 2024 10:10 PM


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Protests that halted tourism at Peru's famed Incan citadel Machu Picchu for six days have been called off after an agreement between the government and residents, both sides said Wednesday.

The strike began after a government decision to privatize ticket sales to the country's most-visited site, and led to the evacuation of some 1,200 tourists by train after they were caught up in the protests.

"We have the good news that the strike is being lifted," Culture Minister Leslie Urteaga said on the RRP radio station, adding that the deal to hand over ticket sales to a private company has been canceled.

A spokesman for the residents, Darwin Baca, confirmed the decision "to lift the indefinite strike," resume businesses around the site and lift a blockade of the railway leading to Machu Picchu.

The new ticketing system was billed by the culture ministry as a means to control visitor flow at the popular historic site.

Last September, Peru temporarily closed three sectors of Machu Picchu due to the impact of the heavy volume of visitors.

Sitting northwest of the city of Cusco, Machu Picchu was built in the 15th century at an altitude of 2,500 meters (8,200 feet) on orders from the Inca ruler Pachacutec.

It is considered a marvel of architecture and engineering and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983.

Tourism is key to Peru's economy, with the country attracting about 4.5 million visitors per year prior to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

The number of daily access tickets to the citadel increased to 4,500 per day starting this month, from an earlier maximum of 3,800.


AFP


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