Colombia’s coastal city of Cartagena has experienced a tourism boom in its hotels and sandy beaches this month due to its bicentennial independence day celebration, and hosting of the Miss Colombia 2011 competition.
“We have achieved a 75% average in hotel occupation,” said Martha Lucia Noguera, president of the board of the Hotel Association of Colombia, Cotelco Cartagena. The official added that factors like weather conditions and airline services may have influenced the change in the hotel sector, in comparison with November 2010.
“This good record is mostly due to the holiday weekend and all the activities of the National Pageant , therefore I think it would be useful, and important, to further emphasize the activities of the Independence Queen Competition and the events of Cartagena’s Independence Bicentennial,” Noguera added.
The increase in international flights was confirmed by the operations manager of the Cartagena’s Rafael Nuñez International Airport, Alcides Morales Torrente, who said the airport received 427 national flights, and 70 international flights. From November 4 through 14, six additional flights were offered that brought in 31,305 national passengers and 3,622 international tourists to the city.
However, the city’s transport manager Luis Romero Arzuaga commented that “this year there were several drawbacks due to winters arrival that affected different access points to the city, forcing people to use alternative routes.
Regardless, between November 7 and 14 the city registered a total of 8,047 travelers coming into the city by land, 300 more than the year previous.
A beach safety campaign also allowed the city to achieve its goal of having zero drowned persons on their beaches, although there were a few cases of emergency rescues in Castillo, Bocagrande, Tenazas, and Crespo. Of the beach-goers, it was registered that roughly 75-80% were tourists.