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Record numbers flock to Peruvian eco-tourism sites

Conservationists have put a lot of time into promoting Peru holidays that take travellers around the South American country's many natural beauty spots and it seems their efforts have paid off.

New figures released by the National Service of Protected Natural Areas (SERNANP) have indicated that more than one million people visited Peru's protected areas in 2011.

This marked a 38 per cent increase on 2010, as the likes of the Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary, Huascaran National Park and Tambopata Natural Reserve became increasingly attractive to visitors.

A number of famous people have also visited Machu Picchu in the past 12 months, including Mick Jagger, Jim Carrey and most recently U2 frontman Bono.

Head of SERNANP Pedro Gamboa told EL Comercio that encouraging eco-tourism continues to be a priority of the organisation.

"The more you see of nature, the more reason you'll have to help with its preservation," he was reported as saying.