Colombia’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism aims to increase Colombia’s tourists from 2.5 million to 4 million by 2014, Portafolio reports.
This goal and several other objectives for 2014 will be discussed Monday at a meeting of tourism authorities in Cali.
“One of the things I consider to be the most important in the next four years is the development of infrastructure,” said Minister of Tourism Sergio Diaz-Granados. “In the World Economic Forum Ranking, Colombia is in position 103 in infrastructure associated with tourism. With a ranking of 133 countries, this puts the country very badly in this area.”
To address this issue, COP120 billion ($64 million) of the COP400 billion ($213.2 million) dedicated to tourism in the next four years will be allotted to infrastructure. The government plans to build docks, piers, boulevards, roads and convention centers. Diaz-Granados hopes to see the country rank within the top 50 countries in the economic ranking by 2014.
According to Portafolio some private sector businesses have said that COP30 billion a year over the next four years will not be sufficient funds to increase Colombia’s tourism infrastructure as the government hopes. Jaime Alberto Cabal, president of Colombian Hotel Association Cotelco, said at least 80 billion pesos ($42.6 million) a year would be needed to make the necessary improvements.
“In infrastructure there will never be enough, but this is a start,” Cabal said.
The government hopes the money will act as seed capital and spur more investment from local governments and the private sector.
The remaining amount, COP280 billion ($149.2 million), will focus on promoting tourism in Colombia.