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Peru gives in to protesters in Machu Picchu, rescinds ticket sales contract with private firm

FILE - The Machu Picchu archeological site is devoid of tourists while it's closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic, in the department of Cusco, Peru, Oct. 27, 2020. Cusco, the town closest to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, is nearly empty of tourists on Jan. 31, 2024 as workers protest the government's outsourcing ticket sales to one large private company, saying it could hurt small tourism companies that offer lodging, food and logistics. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia, File)

LIMA, Peru (AP) — Peru’s government has backtracked on plans to outsource the sale of entry tickets to Machu Picchu to a private company.

The decision Wednesday comes one week after protesters blocked access to the site and rail service to the area was suspended.

Despite the resolution, the streets, hotels and restaurants around the site — Peru’s most famous tourist attraction — remained almost deserted. Small businesses and workers in the tourism sector feared the new ticketing system would hurt them while benefiting big companies.