Colombia continues to grow in the eyes of tourists as an international destination, and the numbers are there to prove it.
The Colombian government announced today that the country’s tourism economy reached a record high in 2017 with $5.78 billion USD in revenue coming in from tourism-related expenditures within Colombian borders. This represents a sizable increase of more than five percent from the previous year’s earnings.
“These numbers show that tourism is an engine for development for the country,” said Tourism Minister María Lorena Gutiérrez in the government’s official release. “We are a country that is becoming more and more attractive to foreign visitors. Now we need to continue strengthening our tourist offerings and making the industry more sustainable.”
Colombian authorities have set their 2018 goal for $6 billion in tourism-related revenue, they said.
Paula Cortés, the president of the Colombian Association of Travel and Tourism (Anato), told the news site Dinero in February that the tourism sector should continue growing in 2018.
“The last few years have seen an increase in the number of foreign arrivals,” she said. “Last year there were 6.5 million tourist entries, exceeding the expectations that we had set. We think that this year we can reach the 7.5 million mark.”
In comparison to numbers in years prior, where there were only 2.6 million tourists entering the country that spent a total of $3.4 billion in 2010, Colombia’s meteoric rise in tourism is staggering.
Colombia has invested nearly $1.5 billion USD in recent years in improving all facets of tourism, including the infrastructure of roads, docks, and airports. These expenditures also include amped-up marketing schemes like the “Colombia: Realismo Mágico” commercials.