Protests bad for business?


The Andean town of Copacabana on the shore of Lake Titicaca.


Aizar Raldes

Update: Protesters in Peru's Puno region agreed to halt demonstrations until after Sunday's presidential run-off.

As North African countries can attest, revolts tend to drive away tourist dollars.

Thousands of protesters in Peru have shut down an international border with Bolivia. They've blocked roads into the regional capital of Puno, where they torched cars and looted buildings.

The protesters, who are mostly members of the Aymara indigneous group, oppose plans to build a silver mine near Lake Titicaca.

And hundreds of tourists remain trapped in Puno, a tourist town on the shores of the lake.

(Read: Big trouble in Titicaca)

The tourism department thinks all this unrest will give the city a bad name.

So it's launching a campaign to improve Puno's image. It wants to highlight the city's art, wealth and culture that is still accessible.

Lourdes Abarca Fernandez, head of the tourism department, said he'll use tools such as the internet to get his message out.

He said Lake Titicaca is the country's second largest tourist destination after Machu Picchu. It's the highest navigable lake in the world and the largest lake in South America.

Andean women tend a herd of 200 alpacas close to the village of Imata, in Puno. (Cris Bouroncle/AFP/Getty Images)

A local Uros man shows his handicrafts to a tourist on one of the many islands on Lake Titicaca. (Jaime Razuri/AFP/Getty Images)

Tourist enjoy the view on Taquile island on Lake Titicaca. (Jaime Razuri/AFP/Getty Images)

Tourists cross a grass field on Taquile island. (Jaime Razuri/AFP/Getty Images)

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