Colombia’s tourism industry has seen significant growth in 2013. According to statistics released by Colombia’s Trade Ministry, nearly a million foreign tourists visited the country between January and June this year, a 7.7% increase from the same period in 2012.
Of these, 804,000 came by air, a significant increase from the 756,000 who flew to Colombia in the same period last year.This trend is forcing the government to invest a huge sum of money to expand its international airports.
The Colombian government has set aside more than $205 million USD (COP 400 billion) to spend on tourism infrastructure projects. Over the past three years, the Andean country has signed 20 air service agreements with different countries and airliners, and several open sky agreements to allow more flights to and from intermediate cities.
According to the Trade Ministry, Colombia’s tourism sector has grown 3% from April this year. Meanwhile, Medellin has been chosen to host the General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization (WTO) in 2015. The government expects the event to draw at least 2,000 visitors from around the world.
“Sun and sand tourism draws at least 25% of our visitors, so we have great challenges and responsibilities in this area,” the Tourism Ministry noted.