This wonderful movement from one place to another, the magic of tourism, the enchantment of knowing other cultures, the fascination of giving and receiving turn us all into people who realizes we are different. Today we are celebrating! And who is we? We are all travelers, those involved in creating experiences, hosts around the world, those in charge of transportation, those sharing culture and those learning.
My best regards from Lima, Peru, South America, to all the world. Thank you if you have already visited this city and you are welcome to visit it anytime. We are a welcoming city and we are working to improve infrastructure so you have a better and pleasant stay and time in Lima. How? For the 200 anniversary of Peruvian Independence, the international airport in Lima would be enlarged, permitting more coming flights and more connections between the largest cities in Peru. Peru has nice beaches and archaeological heritage in the North, the Amazonas river and its jungle, the imposing Andes with its Inca heritage, the Andean plateau with its Lake Titicaca, and countless wonders that Peru can offer.
Tourism has now turned the second largest industry behind mining making up 3.9% of the Peruvian gross domestic product (GDP). We have a constant growing number of travelers coming into Peru. Last year it was 3.5 millions travelers visiting Peru and we expect to receive 4 millions this year 2017, numbers given by Mr. Eduardo Ferreyros, Peruvian Minister of Foreign Commerce and Tourism. The challenges are more than numbers, we need to give quality services meaning more train schedules to Machu Picchu, the highlight of Peru, good roads, order in the visits, limited numbers of visitors in periods of times, infrastructure, regulations of authorized operators among other laws. These are challenges we all need to work on for 2021, when we celebrate our 200 years independence.
Tourism is an industry where I cannot find any cons and where most can get benefits. Tourism can help developing a sustainable world giving growth in economic, social and environmental dimensions.
Happy World Tourism Day to Everybody!