Pause for re-activation allows Colombia to come back strong

Pause for re-activation allows Colombia to come back strong

TORONTO — During the pandemic, Colombia didn’t stop. Instead, the destination “paused” to plan for re-activation, and now its reps are spreading the word — as was the case at ProColombia’s annual tourism forum earlier this week— that things are moving forward.

Prior to the pandemic, Canada was Colombia’s fastest-growing market. The Canadian market also decreased the least during the pandemic. Canadian bookings for April to September 2022 are so far up 5% compared to the same period in 2019.

Some 70% or so of the Canadians who travel to Colombia go for leisure trips, and 26% go to visit friends and relatives. About 55% of Canadians fly to Bogota and 20% fly to Medellin.

“Canada is a strategic market for leisure purposes, and a strong desire for new destinations has been seen from Canadians. We feel that Colombia can offer uniqueness for different interests,” said Alvaro Concha, Trade Commissioner for the Colombian Government Trade Commission, at the May 24 forum.

There are plenty of flight options from Canada to Colombia, and the destination is aiming to expand connectivity. Air Transat’s seasonal flights from Montreal to Cartagena will restart in November, lasting until April, and efforts are underway to make these flights regular. Toronto to Cartagena flights with Air Transat are coming soon.

Colombia’s re-activation strategy consists of five pillars. First, increase connectivity. Second, become a leading hub in Latin America for MICE events. Third, become a top sustainable destination: “Colombia is one of two countries in the world to adopt a sustainable tourism policy,” says Concha. Fourth, strengthen B2C and traditional channels for marketing purposes. And fifth, introduce the ‘six regions’ approach.

By showcasing the six diverse regions of the country, the intention is to inform travellers and the trade about the diversity the country offers, and the highlights of the different areas, from hiking to beaches to culture. The six regions are Greater Colombian Caribbean, Pacific, Western Colombian Andes, Eastern Colombian Andes, Colombian Massif, and Colombian Amazon-Orinoco.

Colombia is a top birdwatching destination, with the most bird diversity in the world with 1,900+ different species. It also has 20% of the world’s butterfly species. The country recently took top honours during 2022 Global Big Day – a world birdwatching challenge – thanks to its incredible diversity of birds and butterflies.

Next week Colombia is releasing a new guide, ’Trending Hiking and Trekking in Colombia.’ Colombia boasts 42 national parks.

At this week’s forum Concha also encouraged the trade to watch out for the new Magdalena River sailings with AmaWaterways on its brand new AmaMagdalena, coming in 2024.

Visit to learn more.

Main image: Alvaro Concha, Trade Commissioner for Colombian Government Trade Commission, speaks at the ProColombia tourism forum earlier this week in Toronto, while Windsor, ON-based Montañeros Coffee brews up one of Colombia’s most popular exports

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