Tourism was Colombia’s most successful industry in 2009, announced the Ministry for Trade, Industry and Tourism on Tuesday.
The tourism sector grew by 9%, compared to an average decline of 6% world-wide, and a total of 2.2 million people had visited Colombia by November, reports Portfolio.com.
Hotels opening in 2009 provided visitors to the Andean nation with a total of over 2,000 new rooms to stay in, and air links between Colombia and various countries around the world have been improved over the last twelve months.
The carnival of Blancos y Negros in Pasto and the Semana Santa processions in Popayan were both added to UNESCO’s list of Intangible Heritage of Humanity in September, providing a further incentive for visitors to come to Colombia.
Trade Minister Luis Guillermo Plata welcomed the figures, saying that they are even more impressive given world events such as the swine flu pandemic and the global economic crisis.
Plata stated that the growth of tourism is “a job which has been done by the government on all fronts, not only through advertising campaigns to improve the image of Colombia, but the campaigns are also starting from an improved reality that, despite our difficulties, we all recognize.”