Foreword editor THT July edition 2016

On page two of every printed edition of The Huaraz Telegraph, editor Rex Broekman shares his thoughts with the readers. The editorial of the July edition of 2016 is about some interesting feedback he got from a reader in town. 

Getting all noses pointing in the same direction without getting a piece from the cake

Last month someone told me that The Huaraz Telegraph had very interesting articles, but that the main tone of the paper should be a lot more positive. Huaraz, after all, is such a great place. I partly agreed. Huaraz has many things on offer. I was listening patiently and waiting for arguments. Huaraz has great hostels, fantastic surroundings and great local and international food and the people are very friendly. Without a doubt it´s great when tourists also come to this conclusion. I would be able to say the same thing about Siem Reap in Cambodia, Luxor in Egypt and Coober Pedy in Australia. All those places are great places to visit as a tourist; however, living there is a whole different ball game.

At The Huaraz Telegraph we´re trying to be unbiased and we always worry about our readers. Most of our readers are tourists, apart from some English students who use our newspaper as didactic material, and it is our belief that we should not make things out to be better than they actually are. We prefer to speak out and say that you should avoid the cross of Rataqueña (although we have been informed that the Tourist Police are doing permanent surveillance there now) and should not hike from the Willcahuaín Ruins towards the hot springs in Monterrey. Why do we do this? Are we discrediting the area? No we are not. What we are trying to do is avoid people getting robbed or worse, which would generate more negative publicity for Huaraz and the surrounding area. I can´t recall the last time that the THT was contacted by the Tourist Police or by a tourist saying that someone had been forced to hand over their belongings at those places, so you could conclude that the warnings we´re giving are having an effect. Unfortunately, many small guidebooks that are in circulation in Huaraz simply avoid mentioning this topic because they want to keep it all positive.

One more thing, our job, apart from offering you an interesting read, is to make tourism sustainable, and this can only be done by writing the truth and by creating awareness. We are not telling visitors to go to Vallunaraju, Chavín de Huantar or Hatun Machay. I am sure that before getting here tourists have already underlined the restaurants, the hotel or hostel and sights in their guidebook. What is needed, however, and this is also the job of the hostel or hotel, restaurant waitress, local climbing guide or even taxi driver, is a maximum effort to make tourists’ stays the best they´ve had in Peru. The more people that leave Huaraz with a happy feeling, the more chance they will come back one day, or that they will recommend our city. This also includes not selling tours in and around the bus stations, not overcharging customers during the high season, not including a fake or ´gringo´ tax to the bill (tourists are exonerated from paying tax in Peru, unless they´re residents) and having respect for flora and fauna, etc. etc. etc.

As you can see, there is still much that needs to be done to make Huaraz a prime destination within Peru because over 90% of the tourists visit Cusco, Arequipa and Puno, but, sadly, Huaraz is visited by less than 4% of all tourists arriving at Jorge Chavez Airport in Lima. In the past, many meetings between tourism entrepreneurs have been held but never have they led to any significant improvements in our city. Last month, the Provincial Municipally of Huaraz held a festival of sport activities at the exact same time as the Festival del Andinsmo, using an almost identical name. Instead of choosing a different date, for example during this month´s celebration of the anniversary of Huaraz, the events were held simultaneously. When the local authorities set such a bad example, it´s time for private investors and the local press to step up and speak out. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen too often because no one likes to create enemies, and everyone wants a small piece of the same cake.

Rex Broekman

(founder and editor in chief of The Huaraz Telegraph)

PD: Would you like to join our team or fancy sharing your story, or maybe you would like to help us expanding, there are many opportunities available. Please feel free to contact us for more information. Taking all the above into account, please do me a huge favour and visit the businesses that have put their trust in our hands by buying an ad. Try to read our newspaper at those places so the owner will know that their purchase is having an effect. My gratitude will be immense.

One Response to “Foreword editor THT July edition 2016” Subscribe

  1. Tanya Formagie Gillespie October 24, 2017 at 09:48 #

    This is a great article

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