Medellin’s authorities will restrict public transportation from
Medellin to Santa Elena during the annual Flower Flair in August to
control the number of visitors. Only travel agencies are allowed to
offer trips to the nearby village.
Mayor of Medellin and the Board of the Silleteros Corporation of Santa Elena announced the new measures hoping to avoid massive crowds by only allowing 10,000 people to visit Santa Elena for the Fair, 90 per cent less than in previous years.
Official bus routes to Santa Elena will not run and the main roads will be closed.
Santa Elena will be accessible with organized tours after the parade on 6 August, Luz Helena Naranjo, Medellin’s secretary of Tourism, explained to El Tiempo, that . Travel agencies will offer tours of 4 and 6 hours or overnight stays. Tickets will cost at least 35,000 pesos, U.S.$ 16.
“This is a great opportunity to make the Flower Fair a tourist attraction and to enjoy culture in a controlled manner”, Naranjo added.
Now it is to wait and see whether the new measures actually reduce the “negative” impact of the large number of visitors to Santa Elena or whether it will exclude low-income visitors who cannot afford a trip with a travel agency, El Mundo concluded.
The authorities also changed the route for the parade in Medellin. It will not pass through the center but along the River Avenue.
Maximiliano Valderrama, private secretary to the mayor, said that there will be more space for the audience and because of this the government expects fewer injuries.