Colombia saw a 6.9 percent rise in foreign visitors in 2008 compared to the year before, the Government announced. Almost 2.4 million foreigners visited the country last year.
The Government says the increase in foreign visitors is due to the increased security in the country and the variation in touristic possibilities in Colombia.
According to Colombia’s Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister Luis Guillermo Plata, the sharp increase in cruise ships unboarding passengers on Colombia’s Caribbean coast are to thank for most of the growth. Plata says the number of cruise ships attending Colombia doubled and that one cruise passenger spends an average of 100 U.S. dollars when on land.
The Minister is positive the number of tourists will continue to grow this year, despite the global economic crisis and hopes tourism will add 2.5 billion dollar to the Colombian economy, making it the third biggest export product after oil and coal.