Colombia leader in Latin America on health protocols

Bogota Airport

Bogota Airport (Credit : Juan Carlos Castro)

Strict biosafety standards, companies certified to offer safe experiences and a wide range of laboratories for Covid-19 testing are the backbone of the country to ensure peace of mind for international travellers.

Colombia’s two main international airports, El Dorado in Bogota and Rafael Núñez in Cartagena de Indias, already offer foreign travellers the possibility of taking the Covid-19 test and obtaining the result in less than 24 hours.

This offer of laboratories in airport terminals is just one example of how the tourism industry in Colombia has been transformed to adapt to the point where it is now a reference in biosafety in Latin America. On the other hand, more than 100 laboratories approved by the National Institute of Health offer Covid-19 testing services to the public in most of the country’s departments in order to facilitate screening and thus be able to meet the conditions of international traffic, particularly towards European countries.

Bogotá International Airport itself has been recognised by the British company Skytrax as the first in South America to achieve the highest biosafety rating, with five stars for the measures it has taken to combat coronavirus transmission.

The World Tourism Organization and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) also recognized Colombia’s effort as the first country to develop a biosecurity certification for the tourism industry. Colombia has also obtained the “Check in certified, COVID-19 bioseguro” label, which guarantees that the Colombian tourism chain complies with biosecurity parameters.

To date, more than 430 companies have been certified, including all of the country’s international airports as well as the majority of airlines and more than 300 tourism service providers.

“There is no doubt that the tourism industry in our country has been transformed, and thanks to this we now have a sector that is better prepared, with entrepreneurs trained in the new international trends, and above all with a supply that meets the demand for biosecure and sustainable destinations. In 2020, we have adapted quickly to the changes and have prepared more than 21,000 Colombian entrepreneurs to ensure that their services comply with the new security standards to guarantee reliable travel and prevent the spread of the current virus,” explained Flavia Santoro, President of ProColombia.

In addition, the country also has the “Safe Travels” label from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), being one of seven countries in South America that have this certification, along with Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Brazil. On the other hand, the same organisation has recently accepted Colombia as a member of “Destination Partner”, in this way it will be able to get involved in the development of joint projects, share best practices, and receive information and data compiled by the WTTC, among other benefits.

These advances in biosecurity also facilitate the organisation of events such as the Colombia Travel Mart 2021 organised by ProColombia, which will take place from 28th to 30th April in person in Bogotá.

In addition to public initiatives, the various players in the tourism sector have been able to anticipate and propose concrete solutions to improve the application of health protocols. For example, the hotel sector has adapted to include specific biosafety protocols and has adopted the label developed by the government and the Colombian Hotel and Tourism Association (COTELCO) “Together against Covid” (Juntos contra el COVID).

To travel to Colombia, see country entry restrictions here


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