WASHINGTON, D.C., February 20, 2001—In
a project aimed at supporting the growth of environmentally and socially
responsible tourism in Peru, the International Finance Corporation will
invest up to US$8 million in Inka Terra Peru S.A.C, a pioneer eco-tourism
company in the country. This initiative demonstrates that environmental
and financial sustainability can be combined.
IFC’s support will allow Inka Terra to expand its lodging network to Cuzco
and Lake Titicaca in the Andes, while strengthening its current operations,
which provide quality eco-tourism and cultural heritage experiences in
the Machu Picchu area and in the Peruvian Amazon. With this investment,
the Peruvian group will be able to expand its two existing hotels, refurbish
two historic sites, and build two new lodging facilities. The development
of high quality hotel accommodation in these areas will also encourage
more tourist visits as well as other economic benefits, including job creation.
Inka Terra, which has been operating in the Amazon rain forest for more
than 25 years, has established an admirable track record of balancing sustainable
tourism with nature conservation, initially with the Cuzco Amazonico Pueblo
Hotel, and more recently with the Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. The
group works closely with local communities, providing jobs and creating
an inter-dependence between socio-economic well being and conservation
of the natural environment. With the approval of the Peruvian Government,
Inka Terra has taken on responsibility for the oversight and protection
of 10,000 hectares of rain forest adjacent to its property in the Amazon
region. The group has also established high standards in the development
and operation of its properties in the Machu Picchu area in order to minimize
any adverse impact on this World Heritage location.
Inka Terra’s lodging facilities are recognized internationally as locations
for scientific research, and the group is in the process of offering ecological
study programs that provide academic credit for universities in Peru and
in the United States.
Mr. Karl Voltaire, Director of IFC’s Latin America and Caribbean Department,
said that the Inka Terra group has demonstrated, over a number of years,
an ability to balance the provision of high quality tourism services with
an exceptional level of ecological and social consciousness. Such
a balance, he added, is critical for Peru to be able to benefit fully from
its rich natural and cultural heritage.
The tourism industry in Peru currently accounts for 4.4 percent of GDP
and provides an estimated 650,000 jobs. Revenue from foreign tourism
in Peru has risen significantly in recent years, reaching almost $1 billion
in 1999 and accounting for over 12 percent of Peru’s export revenue.
The mission of IFC, part of the World Bank Group, is to promote sustainable
private sector investment in developing countries as a way to reduce poverty
and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private sector investments
in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial
markets, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and