In the first half of 2019, the number of international visitors passing through Colombian immigration continues its upward trend, with 2,865,070 foreign nonresident visitors between January & August, according to Colombia’s Ministry of Commerce, Industry & Tourism (MinCIT).
2.2 million of those visitors were nonresident foreigners, 479,000 were Colombians living abroad, and 215,000 were cruise passengers.
“We work in an integrated way to strengthen the [tourism] sector, which we do coordinating with businesspeople, service providers and territorial entities,” said deputy minister of tourism Julián Guerrero Orozco (above).
During that period, 26.4 million people traveled via airlines. 17 million of those traveled on domestic flights and 9.4 million on international flights. This reflects growth in air traffic of 10.4% over the same period in 2018.
“Tourism is a sector that can take advantage of the strengthened dollar. It is an opportunity for tourists to visit our destinations since prices will be more affordable,” said the vice minister.
Domestic flight travel grew 13.2% during the first half of the year compared to the previous year. 85% of international travelers flew through either Bogotá, Rionegro (Medellín) or Cali. Santa Marta with its recently remodeled airport and increased connectivity saw an increase of 78.% in international visitors.
During the period, 3 million Colombians traveled abroad, an increase of 4.4% over 2018. 32% visited the United States, 10% went to Mexico, and 10% to Spain.
22% of nonresident visitors to Colombia came from The United States, 20% from Peru, and 17% from Panamá. According to Colombia’s national statistics agency DANE, registered hotel occupancy in July was at 59.5%, approximately the same as 2018; the two years representing the highest occupancy rate in the last 15 years for a July.