Ahora: “We have an agreement of not speculating lodging prices in PERUMIN”

Stated Rafael Cornejo, chairman of the Asociación de Hoteles, Restaurantes y Afines de Arequipa (Association of Hotels, Restaurants and similar of Arequipa) (Ahora), about the mining event that will be celebrated in the White City.

from September 18 through 22 that will be held at the campus of the Universidad Nacional San Agustín (UNSA), PERUMIN 33 Mining Convention organized by the Peruvian Institute of Mining Engineers. We talked about this with the chairman of the Asociación de Hoteles, Restaurantes y Afines de Arequipa (Ahora) who shared his point of view regarding this meeting that will gather students, professionals and funders in the White City of Arequipa.

What is the occupancy capacity of the Arequipa region?

Currently, Arequipa has approximately 800 hospitality places, including 5-star hotels, boutique-hotels, hostels and others. They are all in condition to meet PERUMIN 33 Mining Convention demand, that is about 200, 100 of them are Ahora members.

What is the occupancy capacity of the Arequipa region?

I consider that speculation done by certain unscrupulous hotel managers is bad, but, honestly, I believe that prices have not been that up, maybe they doubled their fees as it is normal in high season and, especially, during an event as important as PERUMIN.

A topic to consider is the quality of some hotels that is not in relation to their prices.

If you compare Arequipa’s hotels with those from Europe or the United States we will definitively lose, but I can assure that in Lima and Puno, just to name an example, hotels are more expensive than in Arequipa. Regarding services, we do need to be self-critics, I acknowledge that in 2009 and 2011 a hotel that intended to charge 200 US Dollars, did not have a suitable service, but things have changed since 2013.

What is the change regarding the service quality?

As an association directly, together with local authorities and now with the National Plan of Tourist Quality of Peru (CALTUR), a program from the Ministry for Tourism, we have requested training to improve the service quality at every level. There is currently a course certified by Cenfotur so our cleaning ladies are trained, and the waiters training starts next week at the University of San Pablo, some digital marketing campaign has also been done. We not only dress formally for PERUMIN, we also invest in training so we all have a good-quality service. We are doing our best.

What are the others measures being adopted to meet the demands of the attendants that will visit Arequipa?

From the organizing committee, we are bringing suppliers that are updating us in different aspects of the hospitality sector and contributing with first-level products. We are also requesting authorities not to disturb the normal development of the event with constructions such as the Salaverry viaduct, fostered by the Municipality of Arequipa. The Municipality may start works in the beginning of September and this will generate a traffic jam for participants. We are indeed demanding a municipal resolution to forbid the start of works before the convention and that no district municipality can do a work within 5km around the Convention during those dates. We are also preparing signs to guide visitors and we have met with the police regarding safety, we have also meet with the municipality guards to create a group to attend tourists, focused on the convention.

What are the coordination actions carried out to ensure no speculation is made during the event?

We have gathered our partners to discuss about it and we have a mathematical formula. According Mincetur (Ministry for Tourism), Arequipa currently has 30 000 beds and the average of the last two editions was 12 000 Conventionists. The question is if those numbers allow speculation. The answer is no. In summary, we have an understanding not to speculate with prices during PERUMIN and to be transparent, we have requested fees.

What is Ahora commitment?

Firstly, we commit to serve this event, emblematic for Arequipa, as it deserves. Then, by having our facilities in the best condition to welcome you and, finally, by enjoying a transparency policy. We cannot speculate prices because rooms offer is higher to the demand of the event. Therefore, prices will be honest; for example, hostels will cost less than USD100, hostels and 3-star hotels between USD100 and USD200, good 3 and 4-star hotels between 300 and 400 USD, and probably 4 and 5-star hotels between 400 and 500 USD. This seems more reasonable.