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Colombian Government legal measures during COVID-19

Notable in the last week is Decree No. 637 from May 6, 2020, in which the State of Social and Economic Emergency was decreed for a period of 30 days.
Decree No. 636 from May 6, 2020, extended compulsory preventive isolation from May 11, 2020, to May 25, 2020, given the nationwide health emergency.

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The Government of Colombia has taken preventive isolation measures, special measures in the Trade, Industry and Tourism sector, and social measures in order to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the population ante national economy.

Colombia announces the reopening of international flights

Colombia is advancing on its strategy for reactivating international tourism. The Colombian Government announced the reopening of the international air connectivity with the inauguration of the first two flights on September 19th from Cartagena with the arrival of the airline Spirit coming from Fort Lauderdale, and the departure of the Colombian airline Viva Air to Miami. In addition, as of September 21st, flights will be restored from Mexico and the Dominican Republic among other countries.
 

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On September 19th the Colombian city of Cartagena will have its first two flights from Fort Lauderdale and to Miami. Besides the United States, as of September 21st the south American country is going to reestablish connectivity with the most strategic countries of the region such as Mexico and the Dominican Republic among others

Colombia stands out as the ideal destination for post-COVID tourism

Results from a study carried out by The Travel Lab to identify travelers’ future preferences once the current situation has passed, showed that 77.5% of the 500 survey respondents will take more factors into account than they previously have when deciding to take a trip, selecting a brand, or choosing a destination.

According to a Boston Consulting survey of more than 3,000 global consumers, certain criteria will be key. These include biosafety measures against the virus, social distancing, sterilization of spaces, and corporate social responsibility. 

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Biosafety measures against the virus, social distancing, sterilization of spaces and corporate social responsibility are some of the factors that will affect traveler's future preferences once the current situation has passed.

Colombia launches a biosafety check-in certification for the tourism sector

This certification, which will be key to reactivating the sector, is supported by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

 

Miami, FL/ This initiative is intended to encourage tourism once again in Colombia. The tourism biosafety seal has been endorsed by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and is the first of its kind developed in Latin America.

 

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This voluntary certification aims to generate trust among travelers and consumers to choose tourism services that comply with the mandatory protocols issued by the national government. In addition, it recognizes businesses efforts to comply with these standards.

Legal measures taken by the Colombian Government

In Decree 639 of May 8, 2020, the National Government created the Formal Employment Support Program, which was expanded by Decree 677 of May 19, 2020 under the framework of the State of Economic Emergency. This measure seeks to alleviate companies’ lack of cash flow by establishing a subsidy for the payment of salaries.

 

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In the last week, the National Government has issued several decrees in order to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on Colombia’s economy. Among the most significant are the Formal Employment Support Program and the VAT-exempt sale of certain products.

Biosafety certification for the Colombian tourism sector

After surveying American travelers in late April, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) found that 84% of respondents would resume visits to public spaces if health and hygiene measures are implemented, including guaranteeing social distancing, mandatory use of hand sanitizer, and regular disinfection of spaces.

 

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Among COVID-19’s impacts on the tourism industry are the changing trends in demand and consumer preferences. Tourism service providers will be obligated to anticipate the economy’s reactivation and begin creating a strategy that inspires travelers trust through strict health and hygiene protocols while allowing sector companies to remain up to date with the new normal.

Colombian tourism remains attractive for foreign investment

According to the directors of Deloitte’s Financial Advisory, “the sector continues to be very attractive and there is nothing to indicate that interest is lost in this industry, which has demonstrated resilience.” 

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Tourism was one of the first sectors to be hit by COVID-19, but there are still opportunities for hotel investment in Colombia.

Colombia has the best tourism website in the world

The results are in from the massive worldwide vote, and Colombia.travel won the Webby People's Voice Award as the best tourism website in the world in the Travel category. The Webby Awards were founded in 1996 by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences in the United States and are held annually to recognize the best online projects.

 

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The country's official tourism website led by ProColombia won the Webby People's Voice Award through massive online voting in more than 70 countries.

Colombian Government legal measures during COVID-19 for the Tourism Industry

Also, Decree 457 ordered preventive isolation from 0:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 25th until, the recently extended date, April 26. This Decree limits the free movement of people and vehicles, and suspends domestic air transport. It also brings a list of 34 activities exceptions that can be carried out and indicates that cargo transport, storage and logistics for import and export cargo must be guaranteed.

 

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One of the most important decisions was the declaration of the Economic, Social and Ecological Emergency through Decree 417 of 2020, which allows the government to issue decrees with the force of a law.

Tourism as a focus for economic recovery

Due to COVID-19, the most affected sectors in Colombia are tourism and aviation, therefore, the Government has taken measures that help relieve the obligations of the companies that are part of these sectors (airlines, hotels, travel agencies, restaurants and events).

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It was created an initial credit line through Bancoldex of $250.000 million COP, which was increased to $650.000 million COP last week for companies of the sector.