So how has to worldwide recession affected Karikuy, and what is being done to promote and grow the organization? To answer those questions I will first describe the situation Karikuy finds itself in at the moment.
A year ago as the organization went public and saw its first couple of clients arrive in Peru, the economic landscape was much different then we see it today. There was talk of recession as financial institutions reported on their negative earnings, and for the most part people could sense what was about to happen but wasn't of immediate concern to them. Today as news of the worsening situation is almost inescapable, Karikuy has seen it's clientele cut almost in half.
Karikuy offers tours of Peru at very low prices can also only help in attracting customers who don't have to much capital to spend.
Karikuy at this moment? It is stable and healthy, all is going according to plan, our goals are still very much the same, and our determination is even stronger. The drop off in customers is expected but not detrimental to our success. In February we will begin advertising on the Internet for budget oriented customers. We have a February sale in effect that slashes $100 off all of our tours in February with the exception of The Backpacker. February is normally a slow month for tourism in Peru as the Inca Trail is closed and the height of the rainy season hits eastern Peru and the highlands. However I encourage all travelers to take the opportunity to visit Peru in February, the New Inca Trail is available and it is summer on the coast with the month long Carnival taking place throughout Peru.
I will also be traveling to Cusco in late February to interview new guides to follow our commitment to offer the highest quality service for your buck. In order to bring you even lower prices Karikuy is planning of starting a Merchandise for Cut in Price service where you would bring certain electronics like laptops or game consoles to Peru, where these items are rare and expensive, to be sold to us at a profit. With the Merchandise for Cut in Price service you could see up to $300 cut off the price of many of our tours. That's a lot of money saved just for bringing in a product as a personal item.
We are always thinking of lowering our prices for our customers, however sometimes we need your help in doing so. the Merchandise for Cut in Price will be optional and if you may have any doubts know that according to customs law you are allowed to bring in several personal items without being taxed at the airport, 1 camera, 1 video camera, 1 laptop etc. Again more information about this service will be available in the coming weeks.
Hard at work; volunteers can expect to be hunched over their laptops at the Bed & Breakfast pictured above.Finally I want to write a little about our new volunteer program. This program is made available to anybody of any age who wants to spend some time in Lima working on our Perupedia project. this is a very affordable if not the most affordable volunteer program I have seen on the Internet. It includes free room and board and a cheap $70 a month or $22 a week meal plan that includes breakfast, lunch and dinner at the Karikuy Bed & Breakfast. Your job Monday through Friday would be to gather information on certain areas in Peru and present them in a neat format to post on the Perupedia website. For an example pick up a Frommer's or Lonely Planet guide book for a similar layout. This project will be exclusively on the Internet and free to anybody who wishes to know about all things Peru, travel, news, sports etc. On the weekends you are free to travel throughout Peru and see the country, three day weekends are available too if necessary. Or if your a workaholic like me then your free to keep working on the projects or even travel and work on the project gathering information from place to place. More detailed information on the volunteer program will be available later this week.
To conclude this post I want to assure our past customers and our future customers that Karikuy is healthy and we continue to offer our services to those looking for a truly authentic experience in Peru. Later in the week I will explain how the economic crisis has had very little impact on the Peruvian economy itself so far, well that's excluding the tourism industry. Karikuy will always be as strong as its supporters, this is an organization of people and not so much capital. We will ride out the crisis one smile at a time and one adventure after the next.