According to the latest data provided by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), international tourism in Colombia experienced significant growth between January and July 2023. In fact, during this period, international arrivals have increased by 23% compared to pre-pandemic levels, positioning Colombia as the eighth country worldwide in terms of tourism recovery and the second in the Americas, after El Salvador. This makes it the country with the second-best recovery of international tourism in the Americas region.
The UNWTO report also reveals that other destinations, besides Colombia, have shown double-digit growth compared to 2019. Qatar leads the list with a 95% increase, followed by Saudi Arabia (58%), Albania (56%), El Salvador (32%), Armenia (30%), Ethiopia (28%), and Jordan (23%).
According to a report, around 700 million tourists traveled internationally during a certain period, estimated to be an increase of 43% compared to the same period in 2022. However, this number is still 16% lower than the levels before the pandemic. The tourism sector is rebounding on the American continent, reaching 87% of those recorded in 2019 during the same period.
In response to this growth, the Vice Minister of Tourism, Arturo Bravo, stated that travelers worldwide seek more conscious and regenerative experiences. Colombia is becoming increasingly attractive to the international market due to its diverse heritage.
Increased air capacity
According to a recent report, international air capacity and passenger demand have almost fully recovered, reaching 84% of pre-pandemic levels by June 2023. Hotel bookings have also doubled from January to August compared to the previous year, with a global occupancy rate of 70% in August, surpassing the 66% recorded in August 2022.
Air travel plays a crucial role in this resurgence in Colombia, with more than 91.5% of international travelers arriving in the country using this mode of transportation. The country has 26 international airlines connecting 11 cities with 26 countries and 49 cities internationally.
Between January and September 2023, over 8 million seats were booked on flights to Colombia, signifying an 18% increase from 2022. These numbers demonstrate that Colombia has surpassed its pre-pandemic capacity and ranks among the top three Latin American countries with the most significant air capacity, alongside Mexico and Brazil.