Minister of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism, Santiago Rojas Arroyo, upheld that average growth maintained itself this year, like the three previous years. Colombia will reach the goal of four million international travelers, keeping in mind that currently the completed percentage is 93%.
“We predicted that international arrivals would increase between 4 and 4.5% in 2014, and for the Americas, we expect between 3 and 4%. Colombia has been growing 5.5% on average in the last three years, and this tendency is what allows us to be optimistic about the achievement of the goal outlined,” indicated Rojas.
Of the total number of visitors the country received in 2013, 1,726,300 arrived by air, sea, and land through migratory control: 306,694 were cruise passengers, 561,703 were Colombian residents, and the other 1,153,248 were travelers from border integration areas.
If the border integration area travelers are excluded, foreigners who are residents of emerging markets, like Portugal (51.4%), South Africa (32.0%), Paraguay (25.4%), the Ukraine (24.3%), and Cuba 23.4%), presented the largest growth in 2013.
In consolidated markets, the increase of travelers from the Netherlands (31.0%), Chile (19.8%), Argentina (16.8%), Peru (16.5%), and Mexico (16.5%) are the standouts.
On the other hand, the arrival of cruise passengers in 2013 recorded an increase of 20.6% in comparison with 2012, totaling 306,694 travelers on 221 cruise ships. On the horizon for 2014, the Minister stated that, with just the already scheduled arrivals in the Cartagena Seaport Society up to July 24th, 2014, Colombia will double the results from 2013.
In the first semester of the year, 210 cruise ships will arrive and will bring more than 570,000 visitors to Cartagena, between travelers and crew members, and calculated profits for the local economy will total around 47 million USD. Likewise, according to information from the Bank of the Republic between January and September of 2013, of the total service exports from the country, the trip account represented 43% and passenger transportation 29%.