View of Cartagena, Colombia
Many Latin American countries have been ravaged by drugs and terrorism. But at least one is making an economic comeback: Colombia. Laura’s article discusses Colombia’s rise to tourism prominence and touches on the industry’s future prospects.
By: Laura Dunngan
Recently, Colombia has seen a massive increase in its tourist industry. Ten years ago, tourism was waning severely, but it has since made a comeback. The increase won’t last forever, though: foreign airport arrivals and visitor spending growth have stabilized.
Foreign airline arrivals have doubled over the last decade, hotel construction is increasing greatly, especially among international
chains, and cruise traffic has quintupled since 2004.
These businesses began their decline as violence and terrorism increased, but improved security, coverage by foreign travel media, tax benefits, and a national “branding” campaign have inspired new interest in Colombia. The city of Cartagena has found the most benefit in the new tourism upsurge; thirty percent of its jobs are now tourism-related.
I am glad that the Colombian tourism industry has grown. I think it’s important that South American countries try to overcome the hardships brought by international drug wars and terrorism.
From the Los Angeles Times: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/world_now/2011/09/colombias-tourism-industry-hits-a-speed-bump-.html#more