Peru tries to woo Indian tourists

South American country is known for archaeological sites, its cuisine and textiles

Updated - November 15, 2017 11:53 am IST

Published - November 15, 2017 08:38 am IST - Bengaluru

 The citadel of Machu Picchu is the biggest attraction of Peru.

The citadel of Machu Picchu is the biggest attraction of Peru.

In 2016, only 4,000 Indians visited Peru. For a country, which is home to the ancient Incan citadel, Machu Picchu, archaeological sites in Cusco, and is known for its cuisine and rich textiles, these numbers are small. Now, however, the embassy of Peru in India is on a mission to give a boost to tourism.

Speaking to The Hindu on the sidelines of an event organised to celebrate the 196th Independence Day of Peru in Bengaluru recently, Ambassador Jorge Juan Castaneda Mendez said, “We have a long way to go in developing tourism ties between Indian and Peru. But, we are making every effort in this regard.”

Among the measures being taken to encourage more Indians to visit Peru, the embassy is promoting the Peruvian culture here.

“We took the first step in May when we opened an art gallery in New Delhi consisting of paintings, photographs, and information related to Peru. A section has been dedicated to showcase the traditional dresses and textiles of the country,” he said, adding that a book ‘A cultural tour around fabulous Peru’ has also been launched. The embassy plans to conduct exhibitions in Bengaluru in the coming months.

For hassle-free travel, the embassy has introduced an extended-visa policy from this year onwards. “Any Indian traveller with a minimum validity of six months on visa from the U.S., the U.K., Australia or Canada can travel to Peru and get visa on arrival,” Mr. Mendez said.

Traditional Peruvian food is another thing the embassy wants to promote in India. The Peru I-Day was held at the 1Q1- Kitchen and Bar, the first Peruvian restaurant in the city and the second one in the country. “We are hopeful that these measures will help increase tourist flow to Peru,” Mr. Mendez said.

Special ties are also being established between Peru and Karnataka. “We already have an MoU to promote ties between Machu Pichu and Hampi. Karnataka and Peru also share similarities in terms of geography. Both are known for wildlife. We are promoting wildlife and eco-tourism between the two places,” said Vikarm Viswanath, honorary Consul of the Republic of Peru in Bengaluru.

Trade relations

India and Peru are in talks to formulate a comprehensive free-trade agreement, Mr. Mendez said. “Peru has invested $30 million in India, especially in software and oil companies, and a similar amount has been invested by India in Peru in Pharma and mining sectors. The free-trade agreement will help us increase the investments and build long-lasting ties,” he said.

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