Colombia’s trade minister calls for Spanish tourism companies to invest in Colombia, stressing his country’s potential as an ecotourism destination.
In a recent interview with EFE in Madrid, the Trade Minister Sergio Diaz-Granados said that he would like to see the high quality associated with the Spanish hospitality sector move to Colombia, and highlighted the tax breaks associated with investment in ecotourism.
Diaz-Granados said that the main obstacles to investment in Colombian tourism, namely terrorism and drug-trafficking, have “been left behind” leading to a significant increase in visitors to the country.
International flights have increased by 120% since 2000 and foreign direct investment is three times higher, according to the official.
Diaz-Granados added as terrorism and violence continue to diminish, Colombia will be able to improve the protection of the environment, which belongs “to all the world.”
The minister was in Madrid to meet with tour operators and hotel owners in order to explore investment opportunities in Colombia.
“Spain is a world leader, is a natural leader in tourism, and the Colombian government believes that the quality and experience of Spanish tourism could grow in Colombia” said Diaz-Granados.
The meeting in Madrid follows an announcement by Diaz-Granados that less than 3% of Colombian tourism companies have a quality certificate.
The Santos administration has the goal of attracting 5 million visitors in the year 2014. So far in 2010, 2.8 million tourists have visited Colombia.
The minister said that a 2011-2014 Tourism Sector Plan to “promote a culture of excellence and quality requirements in the provision of such services” is forthcoming.