The Peruvian government granted 6 days off to boost the domestic tourism economy, more than what was allowed in previous years as the country tries to recover from the economic losses from the Covid-19 pandemic.
On October 7, a Peruvian supreme decree declared six nationwide non-working days, días no laborables, for public sector employees. And the first one is three days only after the announcement.
Employees from public administrations will not be working on October 11, November 2, December 24, December 27, December 31 of this year, nor on January 3, 2022. These days are next to national holidays or surround weekends so that the beneficiaries would enjoy longer periods off work.
Non-working days go on top of Peru’s national holidays, 12 in 2021 and usually between 10 and 15 days every year.
The government declares non-working days during which public service employees, except some essential activities, do not work.
However, it doesn’t reduce the quantity of total active hours as employees still need to make up for them later on. In the private sector, those days off are not mandatory but employers may also decide not to ask for offsetting them.
A incitement to travel and presented as a boost for the tourism industry
The decree mentions that the ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism “aims to promote the development of tourism as a way to contribute to the economic growth, social development of the country and job creation“. Indeed, the government sets some dates to encourage domestic tourism every year. In previous years, Peru had granted three non-working holidays in 2020, in 2019, and four in 2018.
But this year, the new government added some more, as Peru wants to boost a tourism industry that has been struggling since the Covid-19 pandemic.
The decision is part of a strategic plan for the reactivation of the tourism industry in 2021 through 2023, released in March 2021. The goal is to pretty much recover an economic activity from pre-pandemic levels by 2023-2024.
In 2019, the tourism industry contributed to 3.9% of the gross domestic product and created about 1.5 million direct and indirect jobs according to the ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism.
The plan includes various actions, including communication and advertising programs or also the development of e-commerce and informative digital portals.
Before the decree, Peru released its Methodological Guide for the Preparation of the Local Tourism Development Plan, providing guidelines and recommendations for the local authorities in order to develop their touristic activities.
In 2020, Peru was hit by one of its worst recessions with a negative growth rate of 11.1%.
Peru lost $3.8 billion of revenue from international travelers in 2020
With international tourism decreasing by 74% in the world, from 1.45 billion international travelers in 2019 to 380 million in 2020, international travel went to back to levels similar to the 80s, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
For Peru, the 4.4 million international tourists in 2019 – about 30% from Chile and 15% from the United States – brought US $4.78 billion to the country, almost as much as the domestic tourism consumption. That year, Peru registered 48.6 million internal trips, creating an economic activity worth US $5.66 billion.
And in 2020, Peruvian touristic activities shrank by 61%, losing $3.8 billion of revenue from international tourism alone (-80%). Domestic travel decreased by 70%, with less than 15 million trips.
In 2021, Peru hopes to achieve almost 20 million internal trips, a 36% growth compared to 2020, and recover 20% of jobs lost in 2020 for a total of 833,000 direct and indirect jobs.
Expectations for international travel was to receive 1 million international tourists, +13% from 2020 and recover US $1.1 billion (+12%).
With end of year family reunions and festivities, the next months appear to be crucial for Peruvian domestic tourism. According to the press release, the government expects to generate $1.5 million and 14.6 million trips, as many as the entire 2020, with these extra non-working days.