Colombia received, until April of this year, a record number of 534,333 international travelers, representing an increase of 3.9% compared to the same period last year, said Sergio Diaz-Granados, Minister of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism of Colombia.
According to the Economic Analysis Department of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism and data from Migration Colombia, Civil Aeronautics and Proexport visitors came through air, sea, and land immigration control points.
The United States remains the largest source of international visitors, contributing 19.1% of the total who arrived to date of the report. Meanwhile, Latin American markets are gaining importance for Colombia, which is reflected in the large number of Venezuelans (11.6%) and Argentinians (8.2%) who come to the country.
Diaz-Granados noted that: "The highlights are the growth of visitors from Chile (19.6%), Peru (16.5%) and Panama (12.4%), most of them driven by leisure tourism and a significant percentage is coming for business. Europe's main source country was Spain (5.3%)."
The portal Mincomercio notes that precisely during the first four months of the year, the main reasons were related to vacation trips, recreation and leisure (64.7%), business (14.5%), and work (10.6 %).
This, according to Diaz-Granados, is explained by the increase in trade relations with these countries. "An entrepreneur travels initially to do business, usually returning with his family to relax and enjoy the options offered by the country," he said.
Similarly, the most visited city by foreigners is still Bogotá, which reached 51% of them, followed by Cartagena (14.6%) and Medellin (10.0%).
"What is interesting is the growth of foreign visitors in Pereira, an increase of 15.1% and Cúcuta (11.2%)," said the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Tatyana Orozco de la Cruz.
Also, she noted that the amount of cruise passengers who arrived in Colombia between January and April 2013 was 151,041, which represented an increase of 7.8% over the same period of 2012.