Published on : Monday, February 18, 2019
As per the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism (MinCIT), record number of tourist, to the tune of 4.4 m came to Colombia in 2018. It was a rise of 10 per cent from 2017. The figures were recorded despite the United States State Department issuing a Level 2 warning, which advises visitors to ‘exercise increased caution due to crime and terrorism.’
The ‘no go to’ departments in the US advisory are Arauca, Cauca (except Popayán), Chocó (except Nuquí), Nariño and Norte de Santander (except Cúcuta), all regions where the ELN exercise some degree of territorial control.
The country receives accolades for its hospitality, gastronomy and landmarks in prestigious publications.
The UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) gets specific with places that visitors should avoid at all cost, including the port of Buenaventura (Valle de Cauca) and port of Tumaco (Nariño). The FCO also lists those places it advises against going to except for “all but essential travel.”
On this list are the departments of Cauca, Chocó, Putumayo, Meta, Nariño, Arauca, Caquetá, Guaviare, Guainía, Vichada and Norte de Santander, except their capital cities.
A terror attack on a luxury hotel complex in Nairobi, and the ELN bombing in Bogotá in the same week has had ‘minimal impact on tourism to Kenya’.
Colombia’s 100-strong delegation promoted its well-known portfolio of destinations, as well as a new campaign “Colombia: Feel the Rhythm” to encourage more growth in the sector. According to Vice Minister of Tourism Juan Pablo Franky, the government expects around 530,000 more foreign visitors in 2019, a 12 percent increase from last year; after the success of FITUR.