Over 55 companies from the U.S. and 64 tour and travel agents from Colombia gathered Wednesday in Miami to promote Colombia’s new tourism campaign.
Colombia expects to receive around two million tourists in 2013 building on the 1.5 million visitors in 2012, according the government entity for tourism, foreign investment and exports, Proexport, . This number is only half of the four million visitors trade minister Sergio Diaz-Granados said he wants by 2014.
While meeting at the at the Business Matchmaking Forum, Colombian travel agents promoted their country as an “undiscovered destination,” a way to positively cash in on the country’s previous reputation as a dangerous and violent place to visit.
An updated travel warning from the U.S. In April tells prospective visitors that “tens of thousands of U.S. Citizens safely visit Colombia each year,” while still encouraging travelers to exercise caution and to remain vigilant. Canada advises its citizens to stay away from rural areas.
Colombia’s trade minister recently attributed the creation of 69,000 jobs in 2012 to the growing tourism industry, while the investment budget for tourism has increased 137%.