Deputy Minister of Tourism
Claudia Cornejo holds degrees in Political Science and International Relations with Master of Policy and Communications from the London School of Economics, and has experience in managing internal and external communications, strategic planning and management. She currently holds the post of Deputy Minister of Tourism for Peru, and is responsible for guiding, implementing and monitoring policies and standards aimed at promoting the development of tourism and craft in that country. In July 2011 she was named National Director of Tourism Development, responsible for planning and implementing the national policy of tourism development, formulation of sector regulations and issue directives to monitor compliance. Elite Traveler caught up with her to find out more about her background and her plans for Peru as an elite destination.
ET: Tell our readers a little about your background?
Claudia Cornejo: I like public service, but it’s very hard, there’s a lot of stress involved. I started my public sector career in another area of government where we focused on investment, domestic tourism policy, mining, fishing and culture and communications.
ET: How did you get involved with PromPeru?
Claudia Cornejo: I was offered the position of Director of Development of tourism which is more involved with international tourism promotion. I am passionate about my country and had earned a Masters in political communication which provided me with the skill set to work with the media. From a personal and professional standpoint, I thought it would be an exciting opportunity to contribute to the growth of tourism to Peru.
ET: How does your past experience help you in your role with PromPeru?
Claudia Cornejo: I’ve dealt with various types of promotion, internal and external promotion to support the same sector, the same ministry. Basically, we differ in terms of who the various campaigns target.
ET: Peru has developed several programs designed to enhance the visitor experience. Tell us about the programs?
Claudia Cornejo: Domestic campaigns show the population what tourism can do for the country in terms of income. It’s more like an educational program, plus we spend a lot of time and resources developing the product itself. It’s so important to get a psychological and emotional buy in from the people who are on the front lines with inbound tourists every day. The service they provide will ultimately determine what perception visitors have of the destination when they leave. It makes no sense to make external investments promoting Peru or to raise the expectation level for visitors if you can’t deliver on those expectations. As a sector, I think we are very complete in the sense that all of our initiatives we do in parallel.
ET: What new markets are you targeting?
Claudia Cornejo: We are believe that the investments we have made internally will make the destination more attractive to a wider audience including ultra affluent consumers who are educated and travel multiple times per year. We are a global destination and our objective is to be part of the consideration set for visitors from across the geographic and economic spectrum.
ET: What do you see in the future for Peru?
Claudia Cornejo: It’s been quite an interesting ride because to be honest with you I think that many times the position doesn’t make the person … the person makes the position. Its been very rewarding educating people in the central metro, in Lima, and in the provinces, showing them, from a personal perspective, the importance of tourism development in their future and the future of Peru.