Colombia received more than 2.5 million foreign visitors in 2016, a 13% increase compared to the year before, according to the country’s Trade Ministry.
Visitors from the United States topped the list of visiting foreign nationals. The country brought nearly half a million visitors to the South American country.
Almost 400,000 Europeans, 350,000 Venezuelans and 180,000 Brazilians visited Colombia last year.
The majority of visitors, 58.5%, was male. However, as the country’s tourism offer slowly but surely diversifies, female foreign visitors grew as much as 16.6%.
This diversification was also regionally evident. Until last year, Bogota received more than half of the visitors. The capital city’s share as tourist recipient dropped to 46.8%.
The big winner was the Caribbean Bolivar province, home of tourist hotspot Cartagena, which saw its share rise to 14.2% of visits.
The vast majority of visitors came to Colombia for vacation. Corporate tourism dropped 1.1% while visitors coming to Colombia for medical procedures boomed with 37.6% more visitors than in 2015.
While tourism boomed, employment in the tourism sector did the opposite, it dropped 1.5 percentage point from 3.6% of all employment to a meager 2.2%.