Colombian Commerce Ministry Launches Small Town Tourism Initiative
Colombia’s Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism and the National Tourism Fund (Fontur) launched the ‘Pueblos Que Enamoran’ small town tourism initiative in Geneva, Valle del Cauca last Thursday. This tourism promotion initiative is backed by the Fontur tourism development fund through the national #YOVOY. (“I’m going) campaign. Fontur receives funds from taxes on travel and tourism licensees in Colombia.
Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Maria Ximena Lombana; the president of Fontur, Irvin Pérez and the Secretary of Tourism of Valle del Cauca, Julián Franco, were present to welcome the first 25 participating municipalities in Colombia
In Colombia, “puebleando,” or small-town tourism is a popular pastime for both Colombians and foreigners.
200 towns applied for funding to promote myriad fairs and parties, handicraft products, gastronomy, natural attractions and architectural harmony. The evaluation committee was made up of representatives of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Fontur and experts in gastronomy, music, culture and the environment.
‘Pueblos que Enamoran’ is a strategy of the National government to highlight destinations that have special and unique characteristics but that have not been major players in the national tourism marketplace.
The initiative seeks to position the destinations as places with unique history, culture, natural and gastronomic wealth, supporting economic reactivation and growth.
“This is an opportunity for the municipalities of Colombia to promote tourism as an axis of sustainable development and integrate into an outstanding network of towns that will give them greater visibility through national promotion campaigns, which seek their positioning as unique places,” said Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, María Ximena Lombana.
The president of Fontur, Irvin Pérez, explained that “the intervention in each of these Pueblos que Enamoran, is part of the adaptation of the territories as a development and growth strategy promoted by Fontur. We seek to generate appropriation and sense of belonging of the same communities and their environment; in such a way that what is felt is transmitted through small actions that achieve change and transformation. The communities of these municipalities and their artistic contribution, today contribute to the tourist growth that these territories will have”.
The selected municipalities
The following villages were selected by the jury for their unique contributions in the areas of architecture, handicrafts, folklore, gastronomy, history and nature. In total, 25 municipalities from 21 departments were selected.
- Carolina del Príncipe (Antioquia).
- Puerto Colombia (Atlantico).
- San Jacinto (Bolivar).
- El Cocuy and Iza (Boyacá).
- Marulanda (Caldas).
- Guapi (Cauca).
- Maní (Casanare).
- Pueblo Bello (Cesar).
- Nuquí (Chocó).
- San Pelayo and Tuchín (Córdoba).
- Choachí and Tenjo (Cundinamarca).
- Gigante and San Agustín (Huila).
- San Juan del Cesar (La Guajira).
- La Macarena (Meta).
- Sandoná (Nariño).
- Villagarzón (Putumayo).
- Filandia (Quindío).
- Marseille (Risaralda).
- Curití (Santander).
- San Sebastian de Mariquita (Tolima)
- Geneva (Valle del Cauca).
Art and color
As part of the initiative, the “People who fall in love with Art and Color” art project supported by Pintuco Foundation was unveiled, which allocates $500 million pesos for the beautification of facades and tourist infrastructure. Pintuco is a major brand of paint and coatings in Colombia and other countries.
According to Miguel Ayala, director of the Pintuco Foundation, the initiative “is one of the biggest challenges we have taken on from the Pintuco Foundation. It is a project that has allowed us to travel the country from north to south, bringing color to 25 municipalities with inhabitants who have a great commitment and an immense will to move forward. In each of these territories we have trained painters, which will open doors for new professional opportunities, and, through art and color, we have worked with the community to generate spaces for social transformation.”
Photo courtesy MinCIT