Analysis of Tourism activities in Paracas

Project: Analysis of Tourism activities in the area of Pisco/Paracas

Year of implementation: 2001
Donor: ProNaturaleza
Project Director: Stefan Austermühle
Location: Pisco / Paracas

Goals:
• Analyze existing tourism infrastructure in Pisco/Paracas
• Analyze tourist attractions in the area, and the present flow of tourists.
• Determine the economic importance of tourism for the area of Pisco and for the Paracas National Reserve.
• Determine negative impacts of tourism on the environment.

Results:
The department of Ica is the most visited tourist destination along the Peruvian coast and is noted for it’s important historic and natural tourism attractions. The Ballestas Islands and the Lines of Nazca are the main attractions for foreign tourists. The Ballestas Islands also receive an important number of national tourists. The Paracas National Reserve is an important summer destination for national beach tourism.
Tourism is a growing economic activity on a global level. It also has great importance for the communities of Pisco and Paracas, generating a yearly income of approximately $US 7,800,000 to $9,200,000 and an estimated 750 to 800 jobs in tourism. By far, the biggest part of this income is generated by tourism directed to the Ballestas Islands (94-95 %). The development of tourism in the Paracas National Reserve therefore does not fulfill its objectives of benefiting the local population and supporting the economic development of the region. This is because the majority of tourists are individual travelers not using any local tourism service like local tour operators or overnight. It is necessary to provide better services within the reserve, being operated by local companies, as well as developing new tourism attractions, without compromising biodiversity conservation.
The beach tourism in the Paracas National Reserve is tourism of great environmental impact. It is not well managed and mostly unorganized. An urgent decision is required on how tourism will be managed within the Reserve. The project recommends increasing the entrance fee into the reserve, this way at the same time reducing numbers of tourists and increasing income for the Reserves management. Part of the increased income needs to be invested in improved tourism services and management measures of tourism activities in the Reserve. Environmental impact studies and Site plans are needed for this purpose.
The tourism directed to the Ballestas Islands, being located outside the Paracas National Reserve, goes ahead without any control or management. There is a conflicting legal situation on the boat traffic near the Guano Islands and it is probably causing strong environmental impacts. Environmental impact assessment and sustainable management is urgently needed. The necessary legal framework for these future measures could be created by incorporating the Ballestas Islands and the Chincha islands in the Paracas National Reserve.
The environmental awareness and the level of training of local tourism guides and service crew are low. Training is urgently required in order to improve services and minimize environmental impact.
Tourism has a strong impact on the use of water resources in Pisco/Paracas. Measures to save water in the tourism industry are urgently required. In general, a drastic improvement of eco-efficiency of tourism infrastructures is required.
Only a few of the possible tourist attractions of the Department of Ica have been explored so far and play a role in the tourism industry. It is recommended to create new tourism attractions and activities in order to diversify the offer of products and to increase tourism development in the region. It is recommended to create incentives for local tourism committees in the private sector, which support and promote sustainable and environmentally friendly tourism.

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