By Robin Tauck, Tourism Cares Global Committee Chair, on behalf of the Tourism Cares Board of Directors
Our travel industry is deeply saddened by the loss of Carlos Alberto Arrarte who lost his life October 13 in a traffic accident in Ollantaytambo, in the Sacred Valley of Peru. He was 62.
An inspirational and visionary leader, Carlos was launching the new 5-year Plan Wallata, a public/private sustainable tourism project 2016-2021 to honor this beautiful, authentic “living town” and region, where visitors board the trains for the scenic journey to Machu Picchu.
Carlos was chairman of the board of LimaTours, a large tourism company founded by his father Eduardo R. Arrarte in 1956, celebrating its 61st Anniversary this year. LimaTours is a receptive operator to tour, cruise, FIT, alumni and student tours from all over the world, holding a high standard of excellence; the company was sold to TUI Group in 2012, and Carlos stayed on to oversee the continued growth in Peru and the South American region.
He worked in the family company for 37 years; first as LimaTours receptive manager in Miami in 1980, then as general manager in 1997 in Lima. Carlos was an ambassador and outstanding spokesperson building global tourism with governments, corporations and non-profits. He was an original and ever loyal allied member of USTOA, a member of ASTA , founding president of SATA, director of APOTUR and executive director of CANATUR and TURPERU. He had networks and connections all over the world was loved and appreciated for his insights, humor, hard work, dedication and humility.
Innovation and pioneering inspired him to work in all regions of Peru and the Amazon; he watched over world heritage sites, such as the Qhapaq Nan (Inca Trail System) inscribed in 2015 by UNESCO in Paris. He pioneered 90% of the cruise services in Peru; built the Amazon Star luxury ship; and created the “Peru Collection” offering culinary, health and wellness, archaeology and adventure tourism.
A leader in Sustainable Tourism and “Turismo Cuida”
As a renowned tourism executive, he knew that sustainable growth of his beloved industry is based on the welfare of communities and care for the environment. In 2008, he created LimaTours Foundation, to promote access, health, education and equal opportunity to all Peruvians. Social responsibility was Carlos’ passion and he involved his employees, partners, friends and government officials. He was recently named Peru’s Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC ) regional leader in September 2017.
In 2012-13, Carlos pioneered Turismo Cuida, the first sustainability-focused tourism non-profit in Peru. Carlos led the Tourism Cares global delegation of 30 USA travel executives to Cusco and Sacred Valley for an education conference on sustainable tourism and a restoration of the Mercado Central de San Pedro (1925). Turismo Cuida gave 14 grants to local groups and implemented RECUSCO project to eradicate plastic bottles out of the Cusco region. Members of Turismo Cuida include Aranwa Hotels Resorts & Spas, Amazon Expeditions, Belmond Hotels, Coltur, Delfin, Fiesta Tours Peru, Inca Rail, Libertador Hotels, Resorts & Spas, LimaTours, Peru Rail, Strategik, Travel Group Perú, Viajes Pacifico and Viracocha Turismo Internacional.
Jose Pedraza, director general of LimaTours laments “We have experienced a great loss. Yet, his commitment and dedication and love for his family and his Lima Tours family, will always inspire us to offer the best experiences to our clients, partners and fellow citizens.”
Carlos is survived by his wife, Anne and three children Maria Elizabeth, Sebastian and Alejandra Maria and two grandchildren Antonia Maria and Isolde Maria, as well as four siblings, Ana Maria, Eduardo II, Jose Luis and Maria Arrosa. A third grand-daughter is due in February 2018.
A memorial mass will be held on November 21 in Lima, Peru; and an additional memorial service will be held November 30th at the Diplomat, South Palms Beachfront Court in Hollywood FL, USA.
Donations may be sent to: LimaTours Foundation (Peru).