Colombian “Uribista” presidential candidate Juan Manuel Santos Thursday launched a proposal designed to increase tourism to the Andean nation, at an a convention of the Colombian Association of Travel Agents and Tourism (Anato) on the Colombian Caribbean island of San Andres.
The initiative seeks to create 500,000 jobs in the tourism sector so that “in each home there is, at least, one person with a formal job,” Santos explained, as part of a plan to reduce informal employment in hotels and restaurants.
“We will offer incentive to informal hotels to become legal, by offering them training. On the other hand we will penalize those that don’t register as hotels and don’t pay the corresponding taxes,” Santos said.
The former defense minister said that he thinks Colombia “should position itself in the international tourist market as a multi-destination place” and proposed to focus on eco-tourims, cultural tourism, health tourism and tourism in the big cities.
“To increase the number of eco-tourists, we will continue with the model of concession to natural parks, so that businesses install hotels with respect for the environment,” Santos said.
Santos also promised to increase airport connections around Colombia by “promoting a policy of open skies and supporting low cost airlines.”