Colombian government authorities carried out operations last week in the border city of Cúcuta in the Norte de Santander department along the Venezuelan border, to crack down on unlicensed and illegal operators in the tourism and travel sector. 22 establishments were checked and verified, and five were shuttered for not complying with established regulations.
The Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Maria Ximena Lombana Villalba (above), stated that this joint exercise “is a very important step in the advancement of the safe economic reactivation of the country, since the formalization in the hotel sector allows to give tranquility and support to the guests and that the productive chain of the sector works for the benefit of Colombians.”
During the day, an awareness campaign was carried out aimed at tourism service providers about the importance of being formalized and registered in the National Tourism Registry. Joint actions were carried out by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism and the Group for the Protection of Tourism and National Heritage of the Metropolitan Police of Cúcuta, along with the Police for Children and Adolescents, the Environmental and Ecological Police, Migration Colombia, Secretaries of Health, fire departments, and other authorities of Cúcuta and Villa del Rosario.
During the operation, a suspect was captured with two species of wild birds and turned over to Colombia’s attorney general for prosecution. Trafficking in wild species is a major criminal activity in Colombia, which is one of them most biodiverse countries in the world, home to many rare and endangered species.