SEAF’s Fondo Transandino Peru (FTP) initially invested in Andean Experience (AE), a Peruvian tour operator and boutique hotel developer, in 2006. With financial and business assistance from SEAF, AE opened a new high-end hotel on the shores of Lake Titicaca, in the Puno region of Peru. SEAF’s financing has allowed AE to expand its eco-friendly operations, increasing local employment opportunities and promoting foreign tourism, an industry crucial to Peru’s economy.
Incorporated in February 2004, AE is a Peruvian company that offers high-end eco-tours to destinations across Peru including the Amazon, the Machu Picchu’s Sacred Valley, the highlands of Cuzco, Peru’s northern beaches, Lake Titicaca and the city of Lima. Specializing in authentic personalized travel experiences, the company maintains the highest standards when designing and organizing travel. Lodges developed by AE grant eco-friendly access for tourists to some of Peru’s most beautiful and ancient sites, capturing the essence of Andean culture for small groups of visitors.
Benefits to the Local Community
In 2008, AE opened its Titilaka Hotel on the shores of Lake Titicaca. By hiring local workers to formal positions in the hotel and boosting the local tourism economy, AE’s Titilaka hotel provides the surrounding poor communities with sustainable, year-round alternatives to seasonal agriculture. AE’s Titilaka hotel is also working to restore and preserve its surrounding environment, starting a reforestation campaign to replace native trees and shrubs. In addition, the company uses only hydroelectric power and natural gas in its Titilaka facilities and implemented a garbage collection facility for the hotel and the local community. With SEAF’s help, AE increased its number of locations and expanded its workforce from 19 employees in 2006 to 58 in 2009. In addition to increasing employment, AE actively contributes to the local communities in the regions in which its hotels operate through training and education at a local medical post, by helping to build a community center, and by providing illumination for a local sports center.