Keeping Experiential Tourism Sustainable

— Written By and last updated by Kristen Rice-Gira
Community members interacting with tourists (Misminay, Cusco)

Community members interacting with tourists (Misminay, Cusco)

How can tourism to ancestral Incan communities be sustainable, experiential, and yet positive?

Barbieri interviewing community members (Hatunq’olla, Puno)

Barbieri interviewing community members (Hatunq’olla, Puno)

This is one of the main questions Dr. Carla Barbieri sought answers to in her visit to Cusco and Puno, located in the Andes of Peru. Barbieri and her research colleagues in Peru, Sandra Sotomayor and Claudia Gil Arroyo, interviewed 27 community members from seven indigenous communities to investigate the levels of sustainability of community-based experiential tourism. Some examples of tourist offerings there include homestays, cultural demonstrations and outdoor activities.

Community women offering their products to tourists (Raqchi, Cusco)

Community women offering their products to tourists (Raqchi, Cusco)

This study, result of a collaborative effort with the Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola (Lima-Peru), seeks to evaluate the range of positive and negative impacts that tourism is bringing to the cultural heritage (e.g., gastronomy, customs, language) of these ancestral Incan communities.

Study results will help local communities to identify areas in need of improvement towards the sustainability of their tourism efforts.