Colombian authorities reported a 12% increase in foreign visitors during the Under-20 World Cup – a fraction of what was predicted before the event .
In June, the Colombian tourist authorities said they expected 25–35,000 people to flood the country for the tournament, a figure that included 1,200 journalists.
However, according to immigration statistics, there were only 7,649 more foreign visitors from the 23 other countries involved in the tournament visited the country than at the same point last year.
Before the event, the Minister of Commerce, Tourism and Industry also said the event would boost the Colombian economy, as each visitor was expected to spend $150-200 a day.
On Wednesday, the president of the National Association of Tourist and Travel Agencies (Anato), Paula Cortes Calle, said the objective of the tournament was not bring in a large number of visitors but to promote Colombia as a tourist destination.
She said, “the World Cup let us show that Colombia is a safe country, where global events can be held.”