49% Growth in International Visitors to Colombia Recorded for First Quarter 2023
The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism in Colombia released preliminary data on Thursday, April 27 that shows an increase in non-residential travelers to the country in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same time period last year, suggesting an increase in tourism within the country.
The new statistics released by the Office of Economic Studies show that over 1.4 million non-resident visitors entered the country between January and March 2023, with the breakdown being 990,504 non-resident foreigners, 229,553 Colombians residing abroad who are visiting, and 179,264 cruise passengers.
These add up to over 450,000 travelers arriving in the country per month on average during the first quarter of the year.
These new statistics represent a 49% increase from the first quarter of 2022, and this translated to a significant increase in different sectors reliant on tourists: national parks in the country received a 33.1% increase in visitors at the same time period, air traffic in the region increased by 12.6%, and the accommodation occupancy rate increased 6.3 percentage points versus the same period last year.
The United States was reported to be the country with the largest flow of visitors to Colombia, while the countries that increased their visitation to Colombia the most is Costa Rica with a 114.5% increase and Brazil with a 99.3% increase.
Germán Umaña Mendoza, the Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, praised the growth of tourism in the country, saying that the Colombian government “will reinforce the country’s tourism promotion and the strengthening of the capacities of tourism service providers to achieve more than one million travelers each quarter. Thus, we will be close to the ideal scenario of reaching 12 million non-resident visitors by the end of the four-year period.”
These numbers appear to be good for the administration of Gustavo Petro, who has prioritized the push for stronger tourism revenue in Colombia, with goals such as increasing the number of tourists to 12 million visitors over the next four years as well as pushing for more sustainable tourism-related infrastructure.
Vice Minister of Tourism Arturo Bravo has also been pushing Colombia as a spot for meetings, conferences, conventions, and other gatherings that could potentially benefit the local economy of the country.
“The meetings industry in the country has ceased to be just a tourism segment to become a transversal driving force that benefits local communities and other sectors of the economy,” he said.
Barranquilla carnival photo courtesy Booking.com