Friday, June 3, 2016

Promoters and Tourists

            Walking down the streets of Cuzco it is nearly impossible to make it five steps without being bombarded by at least ten promoters trying to get you to come into their bar by offering free drinks. Even if you’re wearing a sweatshirt and sweatpants and are so obviously not looking to go out, that still does not stop these men from trying to heard you into the “best bar” in Cuzco.
            Whether I was just walking down the street at night going back to the hostel after dinner or actually going out, interactions with these promoters will happen whether you want them to or not, especially starting after 8pm. One thing that really stood out to me about these promoters was the energy and enthusiasm each had while trying to get us to go into their bar. Throughout my time spent in Cuzco, I have witnessed people being picked up and carried into bars by promoters, I have personally encountered people who refuse to let us leave their bar and tried to physically block us, and I have been victim to being bombarded by many free drink slips by herds of people.
            What is interesting about these interactions to me is comparing them to ones that I’ve had at home. While promoters in the United States, such as the ones in New York City, definitely want you to come in and enjoy their bar, they are definitely much less aggressive and less desperate for your business. One of the reasons I think may be behind this is the emphasis on tourism. While New York City is a constant center for tourists of all different backgrounds, the tourism in Cuzco is more centered and focused on getting business from Americans and Europeans. Therefore, business for them from people of these nationalities means much more and they will try and go that extra distance in order to get them into their bars.

            Overall, my advice is if you are planning on going and trying to learn how to salsa in a club or bar, know where you are going ahead of time, and if you are just trying to get home, try and stick to the middle of the plaza or road in order to avoid these interactions.

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