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International Tourism to Colombia Grows, Domestic Travel Declines


Colombia International Travelers
Airports in Colombia have seen the number of international travelers grow so far this year – Credit: Felipe Restrepo/CC BY-SA 3.0

The number of international travelers in Colombia grew by 26.6% in the first semester of the year compared to the previous year. According to the Civil Aviation Authority, 8.8 million passengers traveled on international flights, significantly surpassing the 6.9 million of the same period last year. At the same time, the country experienced a notable decline in domestic flights. In the context of a reconfiguration of flights on offer, the drop in travelers in this sector was 11.60%.

Strong growth during vacation months

The increase was steady and constant during the first six months of the year, with a minor growth in April. Particularly significant was during the vacation months in Colombia. In January and February, there was an increase of 33.80% and 35.50%, respectively.

Decline in domestic flights

In parallel with this international growth, Colombia experienced a remarkable decline in domestic flights. In trips with origin and destination within the country, the cumulative decrease during the first semester of 2023 was 11.60%. It was essentially accentuated from March and April, with a decrease of 14.70% and 21.50%, respectively. This coincides with the crisis of low-cost carriers (the disappearance of Viva Air and Ultra Air).

Colombia International Travelers
The Viva Air crisis has marked the decline in domestic passengers in Colombia – Credit: Public Domain

In this segment, the number of travelers was 14.16 million, significantly lower than the 16.02 million of the same period of the previous year.

Market in reconfiguration

The market for domestic flights is undergoing reconfiguration. After the disappearance of Viva Air and Ultra Air, new offerings from competitors are expected. In this regard, Avianca’s investment in the Abra group could improve the market. Currently, domestic flights have experienced a significant increase in prices, which is the main obstacle to the growth of users.

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