The New Era of Colombian Tourism: Impressive Growth and Increased Connectivity

Colombia’s tourism sector is experiencing significant growth, with the number of international tourists forecast to increase by 24% in the first half of 2024, compared to the same period last year. This information, based on a joint analysis by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and ForwardKeys, places Colombia in third place among the Latin American countries with the highest annual growth in international visitors.


Credit: WTTC

Credit: WTTC

The main sources of this growth are Spain, the United States and Canada, with increases of 32%, 27% and 22% respectively. This growth reflects not only Colombia’s resilience but also the effectiveness of the collaboration between the public and private sectors in the field of tourism, according to Virginia Messina, senior vice-president of the WTTC.

The success of this marketing strategy based on data analysis was underlined by Olivier Ponti, VP Insights at ForwardKeys. He highlights the coordinated work between the public and private sectors, which has made it possible to make effective use of market information and trends to boost tourism.


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Medellín and Cartagena are the cities that have seen the biggest increases in international tourist bookings, with rises of 57% and 34% respectively. This positive trend is not limited to foreign visitors; travel from Colombia is also on the rise, with the United States, Spain and Mexico the main destinations.

Since 2022, the tourism sector has exceeded its pre-pandemic contribution to national GDP, contributing $14.9 billion, 2.6% more than in 2019. Similarly, the sector now accounts for 1.25 million jobs, corresponding to 5.6% of total employment in the country, surpassing 2019 levels by 2.6%.

In addition to this positive momentum in the tourism sector, Colombia is also benefiting from a significant improvement in its international connectivity, enhancing its attractiveness as a tourist destination. Recent initiatives testify to this momentum: Avianca introduced a new air route between Bogotá and Montreal, and also announced the resumption of its direct Bogotá-Paris route, re-establishing a crucial link with Europe after a break of several years. Emirates also inaugurated an air bridge between Colombia and the United Arab Emirates, opening up new opportunities for travellers and trade. Finally, Lufthansa has relaunched its first class service to Colombia, and with its subsidiary Edelweiss Air now connects Zurich to Bogota and Cartagena de Indias twice a week. These developments, underlining Colombia’s commitment to improving air access, are making a major contribution to tourism growth by making the country more accessible to international travellers.


The recovery and growth of Colombia’s tourism sector is an important driver for the national economy, generating income and creating jobs. This positive dynamic is the result of an effective strategy and close collaboration between the public and private sectors, making Colombia a leading tourist destination on the international scene.


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