According to Foreign Trade and Tourism Minister Robert Sanchez, Arequipa has been selected for the Inter-American Development Bank's (IDB) Future Tourism Program, which will help the city promote tourism recovery and overcome post-pandemic issues.
The Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (Mincetur), the Regional Government of Arequipa, and the Provincial Municipality of Arequipa collaborated to pick Arequipa for the aforementioned program.
As a result, the White City, as Arequipa is called, will receive a technical readiness evaluation as well as a roadmap for accelerating technology adoption among tourism businesses.
Arequipa is a renowned tourist destination in southern Peru. Its Historic Center has a variety of lodging alternatives and is home to some of the best and most famous picanterias in the city (restaurants specializing in spicy dishes).
UNESCO designated the Historic Center of Arequipa as a Cultural Heritage of Humanity Site in 2000.
This program intends to use modern and emerging technologies to help Latin America's tourist industry become more competitive and sustainable.
It is funded with US$1.5 million in non-reimbursable technical cooperation resources from the IDB's Spanish General Cooperation Fund.
The competition was fierce, with 107 locations from across the region competing. The following are the ten finalists for the Future Tourism Program:
1. Argentina: City of Cordoba
2. Brazil: Fortaleza
3. Chile: Puerto Varas
4. Colombia: Bogota Capital District
5. Ecuador: Galapagos Islands
6. Ecuador: Quito Metropolitan District
7. Guatemala: Antigua Guatemala
8. Mexico: Cancun
9. Peru: City of Arequipa
10. Uruguay: Montevideo
The ten winning destinations were chosen based on the quality and scope of the current challenge analysis they submitted, the strength of the team assigned to support technical assistance should the destination be chosen, and the list of activities planned to put the technical assistance results into practice.
This information was presented in a letter signed by prominent governmental and private-sector members of the tourism industry for each site.
The technical assistance will provide a uniform methodology and bespoke roadmaps to help this initial set of Latin American tourism locations accelerate their technology adoption. The pilot model that emerges can then be duplicated in other destinations throughout the region.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, tourism in Latin America and the Caribbean was growing, and it had established itself as a vital engine of economic diversification and prosperity.
According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, tourism contributed 10% to Latin America's GDP and 14% to the Caribbean's GDP in 2019.
However, by 2020, GDP from direct regional tourism will have fallen by 50%, a far greater decline than the 6% and 7% declines in the services and manufacturing sectors, respectively.