“Development, promotion and the regulation of tourism” were the goals set out by the Colombian government in a new law which came into effect July 10.
According to the government, the law will reorganize the tourism sector, strengthen regional initiatives, generate employment and transform tourism into one of the pillars of Colombia’s economic growth.
One of the most important aspects of the new law was the creation of a Supreme Council of Tourism, which will have the power to set standards to be followed by tourism providers at the national and local levels. The council will administrate the National Tourism Fund, aimed at expropriating property formerly belonging to drug traffickers to be used for tourism initiatives.
Colombia’s tourmism minster, Sergio Diaz-Granados said the law aimed to make the country a more viable tourist destination by building efficient public policy, allowing it to “become one of the favorite places for leisure and business tourism of millions of world travelers.”
“If we want to be an important country in the field of tourism, with a strengthened sector, it is necessary to realize reforms providing the tools for this. This new law is the opportunity.”
Other important aspects of the law are the creation of a local council for the administration of the country’s Pacific and Caribbean beaches and social development schemes for vulnerable communities located in areas that are popular tourist spots.
Colombia‘s tourism ministry revealed in June that the Andean nation saw a 5.3% increase in foreign visitors between January and April 2012 compared to the same period last year. This continued the surge for Colombia’s tourism sector, which has seen a 300% increase in foreign visitors since 2006.