Colombia expects 9% increase in foreign visitors

Colombia’s trade minister said Tuesday he expects foreign visits to his country to go up 8.7% in 2012.

While presenting the Colombian government’s mid-term achievements, Minister Sergio Diaz-Granados said that “last year, 3.081,569 foreign visitors entered the country and we are calculating that at the end of the year this number will be 3.350,180.”

“Until June we already received 1.149,075 foreign travelers,” the Minister added.

According to previous trade ministry statistics, 1.6 million foreigners entered the country in 2011. This number did not include the 315 thousand passengers of cruise ships that visited Colombia’s port cities.

Sergio Diaz-Granados said he expected tourism to continue growing and expressed confidence Colombia will receive 4 million foreign visitors in 2014 when President Juan Manuel Santos’ term comes to an end.

According to the minister, “tourism has been a motor for the national economy” and has secured the employment of nearly 1.5 million Colombians.

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