The tourism sector contributes 3.9% of Peru’s GDP, and generates 1.4 million jobs (direct and indirect), representing 7.9% of the economically active population. Foreign currency revenue from tourism in 2018 totalled PEN 16.4 billion, an increase of 7% from 2017 and making tourism the third largest foreign currency generator in Peru.

In 2018, international tourist arrivals (overnight visitors) to Peru reached 4.4 million, a growth of 9.6% compared to 2017. The main international source market for Peru is Chile, representing 26.2% market share, with a 5.3% growth in the number of arrivals in 2018 compared with the previous year. The United States is the second largest market, with a 14.5% share and an increase of 7.1% from 2017. Ecuador, Argentina and Colombia combined make up a further 16.5% of the inbound market. On average, international tourists spend 10 nights in Peru.

In 2018, the total number of trips made by residents in the country was 45.5 million. In the domestic tourism market, Lima, Ica and Piura were the top three cities visited by residents in 2018, with shares of 27%, 12% and 8% respectively. Most domestic tourists (74%) visited destinations outside their region with average trip spending of PEN 484 per person on a four-night trip.

The Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism is the lead political and administrative authority for the tourism sector, its role being to define, direct, execute, co-ordinate and supervise the country's foreign trade and tourism policy in harmony with the general policy of the Peruvian State.

The Vice Ministry for Tourism sits under the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism, and oversees the General Directorate of Tourism Development Policy, which is responsible for implementing, evaluating and supervising compliance within tourism sector policy. The Directorate also formulates, co-ordinates and implements actions aimed at improving the quality of tourism services, environmental management, tourism facilitation, tourist protection, and tourism culture promotion. The Vice Ministry for Tourism also oversees General Directorates of: Research and Studies on Tourism and Handicrafts; Tourism Strategy; Crafts; and Casino Games and Slot Machines.

In addition, The Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism has two Specialised Advisory Bodies, comprised of between 6 and 12 members: the Tourism Advisory Committee and the National Council for Handicraft Development. Two further bodies attached to the Ministry are the Tourism Training Centre, and the Exports and Tourism Promotion Board of Peru. As of 2019, Peru’s Commercial Offices Abroad are operated under the Tourism Promotion Board, and no longer directly under the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism.

The General Government is responsible for the design and monitoring of national and sectoral policies (as is the case for all States of all levels in Peru). The Government establishes co-ordination mechanisms with regional governments, local government and other entities as required and appropriate to the nature of each policy. Compliance with national and sectoral policies of the State is the responsibility of the authorities of the national, regional and local governments.

In terms of tourism, Regional Governments are responsible for: formulation, approval and execution of policies relating to the development of regional tourist activity; qualification of regional tourist service providers; co-ordination with local governments on tourism activities, and; maintaining and updating directories of tourism service providers, tourism resources, and regional events calendars.

The 2019 budget for tourism was PEN 600 million, of which 66% was allocated to the National Government, 17% to the Regional Government, and 17% to the Local Government. At the national level, the tourism sector has three entities: the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism, responsible for managing the implementation of policies on tourism; the Tourism Promotion Board; and the Tourism Training Centre. Their budgets for 2019 are PEN 232 million, PEN 78.6 million and PEN 6.1 million, respectively. The Ministry also oversees an entity specialising in the implementation of investment projects in the tourism sector, the Special Commission to Co-ordinate and Supervise the Cultural Tourism Plan Peru - UNESCO (or, the COPESCO Plan), which receives a budget of PEN 13.1 million, representing 16% of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism’s total budget.

Current policy issues are tourist safety and the formalisation of tourist service providers. Other challenges for tourism in Peru include the rise of the middle class in many emerging markets and changing attitudes of people towards travel, as well as efficiency of travel and international mobility. Priority areas include the development and advancement of tourist infrastructure, travel facilitation and the safety of tourists.

The main framework for tourism development is the National Strategic Plan of Tourism of Peru to 2025, which has four pillars, including 19 components and 75 lines of action. The pillars are:

  • Creation of a competitive and sustainable tourism offer, including tourism intelligence, development of strategies differentiated by market, development of new markets and specialised segments,

  • Diversification of the tourist market, including development of competitive destinations and specialised tourism products, sustainable investment, human capital development, and improvement of the quality of tourist services and products,

  • Tourism facilitation, including the optimisation of migration management, internal displacement and international relations, development of connectivity, and a uniform and reliable system of tourist information nationwide,

  • Sector strengthening via vocational training, including the promotion of a tourism culture, strengthening management relating to tourism security and improving public-private linkages in tourism, as well as consolidating destination management.

The National Strategic Plan is the result of nine work sessions in which technical proposals for the vision, destination development models, strategic pillars, components and lines of action were validated. The Plan is the result of participatory work between the public and private sectors, including representatives of the national associations, and the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism. Its implementation is linked to the formulation of Regional Tourism Plans and contain destination-specific actions.

Additional programmes include Turismo Emprende, which promotes the creation, development and consolidation of tourism enterprises, providing financing for programmes that relate to natural protected areas, cultural heritage or economic development. Al Turista, Lo Nuestro, promotes the direct incorporation of local products (agricultural, livestock, fishery, handicrafts, etc.) in the provision of tourism services.

The Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism has a new strategy to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, which is included in its Institutional Operational Plan 2019. The strategy has a budget of PEN 93 000 for technical assistance to improve artisan workshops located on tourist routes with high visitor flows. It is initially being implemented in three regions: Lambayeque, Ayacucho and Amazonas.

Metadata, Legal and Rights

This document, as well as any data and map included herein, are without prejudice to the status of or sovereignty over any territory, to the delimitation of international frontiers and boundaries and to the name of any territory, city or area. Extracts from publications may be subject to additional disclaimers, which are set out in the complete version of the publication, available at the link provided.

© OECD 2020

The use of this work, whether digital or print, is governed by the Terms and Conditions to be found at