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For all the doubters of gastrodiplomacy’s inability to move the public diplomacy needle, Peru makes for a case study that may prove the opposite.
The Peruvian capital has become a gastronomic mecca. Until recently, tourists headed straight for Cusco, the former Inca capital, and the ruins of Machu Picchu. Now some 75,000 visit Lima every year solely to enjoy its food, spending an average of $1,250 each, according to the tourist-industry association. Maximixe, a consultancy, estimates that restaurants alone account for 3% of Peru’s GDP and that the sector is growing faster than the economy as a whole. Gastronomy has become an export industry: several hundred Peruvian restaurants, many of them franchises, have been set up across the world in the past decade, according to Apega, the industry lobby. [The Economist]