Sunday, September 12, 2004

GDP Up: Dow Jones reports that Peru's gross domestic product "is expected to expand by 4.3% this year," according to the Central Reserve Bank of Peru. NOTE: "That is an increase from its previous forecast of 4.0% growth in GDP for this year, the central bank said in its latest report on inflation." ALSO: "Separately, a survey carried out from Aug. 18-31 by the central bank of 17 economic analysts found expectations of growth in GDP of 4.4% for this year."

Fancy Train Ride: The New York Times published a letter-to-the-editor by Marie-Danielle Samuel, co-founder of Yachay Wasi to their August 15 travel piece on luxury train rides in Cuzco. NOTE: The letter does not appear to be online. It is found on page 19 of the Travel section today. Samuel critiques the rail company's charge of "US$416.50 for a three and a half hour ride [where many local people] liven on less than US$100 a month." She also refers to the "United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development which stated in 1999 that ethics should be at the core of sustainable tourism. Sustainable tourism, not to be confused with eco-tourism, would empower indigenous and/or local communities to gradually take control of this rich industry, which currently benefits outside ownership." In turn, the Times prints a response from Filip Boyen, managing director of Orient-Express Peru, in which he states that "Orient-Express provides contant community support in the region, which has a strong focus on environmental protection and local training programs. We fell this clearly demonstrates a responsible outlook by the comany, as well as Orient-Express's steady commitment to sustainable tourism in the region."

Shamanistically Speaking: The New York Times magazine supplement, 'Sophisticated Traveler,' has a not-too-sophisticated travel piece by Kira Salak on visiting a shaman in a village on the Aucayacu River, on a trip arranged through 'Blue Morpho Tours.'

MPichhu Once More: Washington's The Olympian runs a pedestrian travel piece on Machu Picchu by the paper's executive editor, Vickie Kilgore.

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