Machu Picchu, one of the most iconic spots for historical tourism in the world, will soon welcome more visitors than it currently does. The government of Peru has recently made an announcement stating that from next year onwards, they’ll increase the number of tourists allowed at the historic citadel. However, it is worth wondering whether this increase is sustainable. Machu Picchu is ecologically quite delicate and excess tourism can result in irreversible damage to the site.
Peru: Machu Picchu To Allow 4,500 Tourists From January
Machu Picchu is one of the most famous and iconic tourist spots in the world. It is an enigmatic citadel built by the ancient Inca empire which dates back to the 1400s. Since experts have voiced concerns about damage to the historic site, the number of tourists allowed at the site is capped at 3,800. This, however, will change soon.
From January 2024, Peru will allow as many as 4,500 tourists every day at the site. That’s not all. The officials also have plans to eventually increase the number to 5,600! This move is being taken in order to boost the tourism industry of Peru which is still reeling from the coronavirus pandemic of 2020. Increasing the number of people allowed to the site might help in that respect.
According to an article which was recently published by Sky News, estimates suggest that merely 2.2 million people are expected to visit Peru by the end of 2023. This is less than 50 per cent when compared to pre-pandemic levels. Settled high in the Andes Mountains, Machu Picchu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Is It Ecologically Responsible?
Though it may provide impetus to the tourist industry, it is well worth asking if damage to this historic site is too high a cost to pay for it. The entire reason why there is a limit to the number of tourists allowed to the site is to minimise the damage that results from erosion caused by tourists’ feet. This erosion will increase significantly once more people are allowed.
What is more, the Urubamba River is polluted as heaps of garbage from hotels is disposed of in the river. The number of hotels is also increasing to accommodate for the high tourist footfall. This will only generate more waste which will increase the river pollution. The hiking trail also is quite littered with garbage. An increase in footfall will only worsen the situation.
There is no denying that if officials don’t implement better means of waste management, irreversible damage will be incurred by Machu Picchu.
Have you ever visited this historic location? Do you think increasing daily footfall on the site is a good idea? Let us know in the comments section below!
Cover Image Credits: Canva Images
For more such snackable content, interesting discoveries and the latest updates on food, travel and experiences in your city, download the Curly Tales App. Download HERE.
Good news! We are on WhatsApp! Subscribe to Curly Tales WhatsApp Channel to stay up-to-date with exclusive content and BTS. Join HERE.