>Peruvian airline considers handing out free tickets to boost tourism

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>Lima. LAN Peru Airlines said Thursday it was considering offering foreigners free transportation to southern Peru to revive tourism after the Cusco region was hit by torrential rains last month, Xinhua informed.
The special offer will benefit those who choose LAN Peru to come to Peru and wish to visit Cusco, said Jorge Vilchez, general manager of the airline company.
He said domestic tourists would also enjoy a discount of nearly 50 percent on each flight.
“The number of tourists coming from abroad such as Japan and Germany registered a big drop. We are talking about 10,000 less reservations,” said Vilchez, who urged the Peruvian government to start a promotion campaign for all tourist destinations in Peru.
Vilchez added that the company’s new air routes such as Lima-Madrid-Paris and Lima-San Francisco would contribute to the arrival of more foreign tourists.
Tourist arrivals in Cusco dropped by more than 50 percent shortly after the torrential rains, declining from 7,800 in the first three days of January to 3,300 at the beginning of February, according to the local government.
The downpours paralyzed traffic on the ground and forced the government to evacuate about 4,000 people, including tourists, with helicopters from around the renowned ancient Inca ruins site Machu Picchu.

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