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Last updated at 14:45 GMT, Friday, 19 February 2010

Tourism boost for Peru


19 February 2010

The Peruvian government is cutting the price of flights and hotel rooms to help the struggling tourism industry. Recent floods cut off access to Machu Picchu, Peru's top tourist attraction.

Dan Collyns

Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu Inca sites in Peru


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The inaccessibility of Machu Picchu is costing the Peruvian tourism industry at least a million dollars a day. Some 68,000 people a month normally visit the Inca fortress.

Last month around 4,000 tourists were stranded for up to five days in a town beneath the ruins, after flash floods and mud slides damaged the railway. Since then thousands of foreign tourists have cancelled their holidays to Peru. Apart from making a four-day trek along the Inca trail, a privately-owned railway line was the only the route to or from the site.

Now domestic tourists are being offered half-price flights and hotel rooms to visit Cusco, the city nearest the world-famous Inca site. They won't be able to visit Machu Picchu but will have access to a host of other archaeological sites of Inca origin. The Peruvian government is considering making a similar offer to international visitors as the Cusco region accounts for some 90% of its tourism revenue.

Peru's tourism minister, Martin Perez, predicted Machu Picchu, which survived the rains unscathed, will be reopened at the beginning of April.

Dan Collyns, BBC News, Lima


Click to hear the vocabulary:



very difficult or impossible to travel to or to reach


the ancient civilisation and tribe from the Andean mountain region of South America


unable to leave a place because of a problem such as not having any transport or money or here, because of very bad weather

flash floods

sudden and severe flooding (caused by water filling or covering an area in a way that causes problems)

a host of

a lot of

archaeological sites

places that are important or significant because we can study them and learn about people, places and cultures of the past

accounts for some

is responsible for almost


income or money that an organisation (here the Peruvian government) receives regularly


said that an event (the reopening again of Machu Picchu) will happen in the future


was not affected or damaged

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