the 48-hour strike called in the Cusco region This not only meant a total paralysis of tourism, but also a blow to the economy of the region, since in a single day without activity, the Imperial City lost around 5 million soles. However, little or no attention has been given to the more than 400 tourists stranded in Machu Picchu due to the closure of the railways and the cancellation of train journeys,
The company PeruRail will extend the suspension of its operations on the Cusco-Machu Picchu routes and vice versa for today, Tuesday April 19. The cancellation of the service would have been adopted by the indications of the concessionaire Ferrocarril Trasandino (Fetransa), who informed that they will carry out “the removals they need free of charge and the returns if they need it”again affecting hundreds of tourists who are still waiting for their transfer from the neighborhood of Aguas Calientes to the city of Cusco by the alternative route.
The regional director of foreign trade and tourism of Cusco, Rolando Mendoza, said that the situation in the region is very complex and that in reality there are more than a thousand tourists stranded in Machu Picchu.
“Unfortunately we have tourists who, due to the paralysis of the train service, cannot travel from Sunday to Cusco or any other place. At the moment we have more than a thousand people trying to leave the Machu Picchu », Mendoza reported.
He maintained that, through the regional government and management, they are coordinating with the private sector, tourism unions, railway companies and the National Police of Peru to establish an emergency plan allowing the movement of visitors stranded for more than 24 hours in stations.
Roland Mendoza He also indicated that through the Machu Picchu tourist information office, a list and a register are being updated to meet the need of travelers to leave the area.
“We have different types of visitors, including families, seniors, children and young people who are currently in a complex situation due to unemployment”he added.
Mendoza also indicated that yesterday they hoped the strike would be lifted after the meeting they had with the Prime Minister, but in the afternoon it was confirmed that the strike was continuing.
“The only thing we ask for is calm from those who are in Machu Picchu. We are coordinating so that the road can be freed up as quickly as possible. We are moving to where the pickets are to coordinate with them and allow the restoration of rail service and the transfer of visitors during the day.he mentioned.
The CCenter for Business Studies of the Chamber of Commerce He said about 4,200 tourists are said to have canceled trips and stopped entering the region due to the 48-hour strike, meaning a loss of more than 2 million soles. While the president of the Chamber of Tourism of Cusco, affirmed that the total economic losses would amount to approximately 100 million soles.
For its part, the tourist Oswaldo Ampuerofrom Arequipa, denounced that the strike is already affecting local businesses and especially travelers, who are in total paralysis throughout the region.
“The strike continues, the roads are still blocked. Tourism is paralyzed, the community demands the restoration of its purchasing power due to the rising costs of inputs and fertilizers. We are suffocated and there is no solution,” he said in a conversation with RPP Noticias.
Tourists stranded in Machu Picchu stations
Argentinian travel journalist Agustina LópezHe said on his Twitter account that tourists still cannot leave Aguas Calientes and Ollantaytambo.
“They can take care of tourists who have chosen their country and we are stuck in Aguas Calientes and Ollantaytambo. I have a flight to my country today and Cusco is blocked. Not to mention that I couldn’t climb Machu Picchu”she wrote indignantly.
As reported, the police continue to monitor the area and there is no communication from the authorities regarding his transfer. Also, the train with access to the city of Cusco has not worked since yesterday.
Even during the first day of the strike, it was reported that around 3,500 tourists were stranded in various parts of the city. Many had flights scheduled that day and they had to walk to the airportwhich is about 5 kilometers from the Plaza de Armas.
Access roads to Cusco continue to be blocked on the second day of the strike in the Cusco region. Dozens of businesses even woke up closed and school lessons were suspended so as not to endanger the integrity of school children.
Trade unions of workers, farmers and tourism They demand that the government of Pedro Castillo improve the quality of life which has been affected by the rising prices of staple foods, fuel and fertilizers. They also demand the beginning of the second great agrarian reform and that campaign promises be kept and give more resources to Cusco to reactivate tourist activity in the region.
The protest generated by the price hike has also affected those planning to visit the historic region.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (slicer), actions were carried out through the Tourist Protection Network to transport 3,500 tourists to the city. However, as already mentioned, It has not yet been defined how this transfer will be carried out to secure travelers stranded in Ollantaytambo or Machu Picchu for more than 24 hours.
As they pointed out, a safe tourist corridor has been activated between the Alejandro Velasco Astete airport and the center of Cusco to guarantee the transfer of tourists who have regular flights on these dates, but they still do not talk about the solution for the return of those who are in the cities furthest from the city.
“From Cusco, through the Tourist Protection Network of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism, the National Police guaranteed the transfer of tourists through a safe tourist corridor from Velasco Astete Airport to the Plaza de Armas of the Imperial City and vice versa.”said Minister Roberto Sánchez, on his Twitter account.
“On the first day of the strike in the Imperial City, around 3,500 tourists were transferred to five national police buses, from 06:00 to 16:30.”he added.