New Limits Set for Machu Picchu and Inca Trail
July 27, 2011 § Leave a comment
This week marks the 100th anniversary of the rediscovery of Machu Picchu by Hiram Bingham an event that seemingly triggered such an influx of tourism that for the first time tourists have been turned away from the Lost City of the Incas when the citadel reached maximum capacity. Additionally this week also saw the announcement by Peru’s Minsitry of Foreign Trade an Tourism (Mincetur) on the results of the Limits of Acceptable Change and Carrying Capacity of the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu. The carrying capacity is measured as the maxiumum number of people who can visit the site at the same time without causing significant damage, destruction of the monument or the reduction of quality of visitor satisfaction.
“After a hard technical work we have concluded that Machu Picchu can receive up to 2 million visitors each year,” said Peru’s Deputy Tourism Minister Mara Seminario.
However, Seminario noted that a proper management is required to implement the new capacity, and this will allow easing the flow and arrange the time of visits, as well as improving the infrastructure and implement a series of improvements.
The deputy minister added that the survey methodology carried out by consulting firm Candes and financed by World Bank’s Vilcanota project shows that the Effective Carrying Capacity, that is, the maximum number of visits that a monument can have at a specific moment, is 2500 visitors. The Inca Trail is limited to 500 permits per day – the permits are measured by number of people beginning the Inca Trail that day including guides, porters and visitors.