Colombia has the fourth largest internet usage in Latin America, according to recent U.S. market research.
A quarter of households are now connected to the internet, with only Brazil, Argentina and Chile having larger online communities, according to the study.
The growth signified the development of online commerce among Colombians, with travel sites reporting a record-breaking 3 million hits in the month of June 2011, according to Radio Caracol.
Around 5% of Colombians currently shop online, with this figure expected to rise to 20% in the coming years.
A June 2011 study produced by New Media Trend Watch, which compiles statistics for the European Travel Commission, confirmed Colombia’s position as fourth in the league table of Latin American internet use, with half the population having access to the web. Its top ten had different rankings however, with Mexico second and Chile sixth in the continental list.
The expansion of internet usage through 2011 continued a yearly trend which saw Comscore, a digital marketing intelligence firm, reporting Colombia and Venezuela as having the largest growth rates in Latin America during 2010.
Colombia’s increasing online presence comes at a time when Latin America is being touted by many observers as the new “hotspot” for internet commerce, following the massive expansion seen in China and India in recent years.
According to Internet World Statistics, which compiles global web data, in June 2011 Colombia’s 22.5 million internet users represented 1% of the world’s online community.