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Colombia’s Tourism Renaissance: International Arrivals Set New Record


Tourists in Cartagena, Colombia
A couple of tourists make a stop in the historic center of Cartagena. Colombia’s tourism sector has experienced a substantial 29.3% increase in international visitors from January to September 2023. Credit: A.P. / Colombia One

Colombia’s tourism sector is currently undergoing a remarkable renaissance, witnessing a substantial 29.3% increase in international visitors from January to September this year. Recent data released by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism (MinCIT) on Tuesday reveals that the country warmly welcomed approximately 4.2 million non-resident visitors during this period, a significant leap from the 3.2 million recorded in the same months in 2022.

El Pais de la Belleza (The Country of Beauty)

German Umaña Mendoza, the dynamic head of the ministry, is optimistic: he points out that, as of September this year, a mere 500,000 additional travelers are needed to equal the impressive 4.7 million visitors of 2022. Umaña sees these developments as an unequivocally positive sign for Colombia’s burgeoning tourism industry, emphasizing the nation’s growing allure for global travelers.

Tourists on horse ride in Cartagena Colombia
Cartagena is among the favorite tourist destinations in Latin America. Credit: A.P. / Colombia One

The impactful ‘El País de la Belleza’ (The Country of Beauty) program implemented by the government has helped the tourism sector in Colombia. In the first nine months of 2023, this initiative has almost eclipsed the total number of international visitors received throughout the entire year of 2022, boasting an impressive count of 4,198,801 non-resident visitors. This represents a substantial 29.3% growth compared to the same period in 2022 when 3,247,698 individuals embarked on enriching journeys across the diverse landscapes of Colombia.

Adding to Colombia’s appeal, Forbes cataloged the country as the third most beautiful in the world, ranking just below Indonesia and New Zealand. This acknowledgment adds a global perspective to Colombia’s appeal, establishing its position among the world’s most breathtaking destinations.

Taganga tourism destination Colombia
Taganga, a fishing town near Santa Marta in Magdalena is becoming a favorite alternative destination among international tourists. Credit: A.P. / Colombia One

The second-leading destination in Latin America

Mendoza takes pride in declaring that these statistics solidify Colombia’s standing as the second-leading destination in Latin America for the recovery of the tourism sector. His confidence in the sector’s resilience is evident as he states, “This number will significantly increase during the year-end season,” underlining the promising prospects for sustained growth in Colombia’s tourism industry.

Medellin Colombia communa 13
Medellin, the second largest city in Colombia, is rapidly emerging as a tourism hotspot. Credit: Genesis De La Ossa/Colombia One

As we witness this surge, Colombia’s unique blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and the success of strategic programs like ‘El Pais de la Belleza’, position it as an increasingly attractive destination on the global tourism map. The nation’s ability to adapt, innovate, and showcase its diverse offerings continues to captivate the imagination of travelers worldwide, setting the stage for a vibrant and thriving tourism landscape in the years to come.

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