Colombian tourism to Venezuela dropped significantly since the two countries became involved in a diplomatic row, newspaper El Tiempo reported Monday.
While the border crossing of San Antonio de Tachira used to process 300 passports a day, that figure has plummeted to only 80.
Venezuelan consul Alberto Barros Mattos says that at times there are atypical periods that occur during the year, in which other services such as issuing visas, authentication and attention to the Colombians continue as normal.
Manager of Over Tour International Tourism, Fernando José Vergel, says “[Tourism] has declined for obvious reasons that everyone understands. We have an economic situation … which creates problems in all areas, including tourism.”
Vergel was referring to the frozen diplomatic relations between Colombia and Venezuela since July 28, in protest of Colombia’s military bases agreement with the United States.
On the other hand, the number of Venezuelans in Colombia has increased, most of whom intend to pursue higher education.
“We have seen a growth in the number of student visa applications from Venezuelans who are studying at universities in Norte de Santander, Bucaramanga, and Bogota. We are also receiving frequent requests for business visas for Venezuelans who want to invest in Colombia,” said consul Barros Mattos.
He said that each month about 100 applications for student visas are processed. He said that the increase could be attributed to the subsidy given to Venezuelan students who come to Colombia.