The UK will feel Colombia’s rhythm at WTM

05 November 2019
- Colombia is returning to the fair with a delegation of 19 business owners to show why it’s a hot tourist destination in terms of music, nature, sports, and culture. - Between 2012 and 2018, the annual number of visitors to Colombia grew at an average rate nearly double the world average. The number of British tourists increased by 5% in 2018, and the upward trend continues this year.

On November 4–6, Colombia’s stand at London’s World Travel Mart (WTM) will be offering music, dance, and live street art for visitors to learn why it’s known as the land of a thousand rhythms. 

The Colombian delegation, made up of 19 business owners, will be headed by Julián Guerrero, Colombia’s Vice Minister of Tourism, and Flavia Santoro, president of ProColombia—the official agency that promotes investment, tourism, exports, and the country brand.

In line with ProColombia’s promotion strategy—based on musical diversity and the Colombia, Feel the Rhythm campaign—the stand will be converted into a big stereo system, with brand activations that display Colombia’s main tourist destinations.

Medellín, the city of eternal spring, will occupy a prominent place, as visitors will be able to experience its vibrant art scene through live graffiti painting.

A well-connected country
In 2019 alone, 15 new airline routes, as well as a new airline, were announced. Colombia currently has 24 airlines that connect it to 25 countries, with 1,088 weekly direct flights—equivalent to 176,825 seats per week. Bogotá, Medellín, Cali, Cartagena, Barranquilla, and Pereira are the cities with the highest number of international routes.

Gaining ground as a top 2019 tourist destination 
•    The country climbed seven positions on the ranking of the most competitive countries in the travel and tourism industry, rising from 62nd place to 55th (The World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2019)
•    Leading South American destination 2019 (World Travel Awards)
•    Cali, Leading Cultural City Destination 2019 (World Travel Awards)
•    Cartagena, Leading Honeymoon Destination 2019 (World Travel Awards)

The land of a thousand rhythms
Colombia is one of the few countries in the world that is using music as its main theme for promotion on an international level with its Colombia, Feel the Rhythm campaign. The country has more than one thousand rhythms grouped into 157 different genres, as well as hundreds of world-renowned festivals and carnivals, such as Barranquilla’s Carnival. In Bogotá alone, there are more than 60 festivals and 500 live music venues (UNESCO). The campaign has gotten more than 180 million views and more than 1.4 million clicks to digital assets.

Sustainable nature destination
Colombia is the second most biodiverse country in the world, so it has great potential to become a leading destination for nature and adventure tourism. With more than 1,920 species, Colombia has the greatest number of bird species in the world. This was confirmed last May, when it won first place at the Global Big Day 2019 for the third consecutive year.

Tourism, Colombia’s new oil
Between 2012 and 2018, the annual growth rate of inbound non-resident visitors to Colombia reached 9.9%, nearly double the world average. According to figures from Colombia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Tourism, 4.2 million non-resident visitors arrived in Colombia in 2018, increasing by 7.7% compared to 2017.

By the end of 2018, arrivals of UK-resident foreigners in Colombia grew 5.3% compared to 2017—that is, 2,598 more UK-resident travelers visited Colombia in this period. For the January–August 2019 period, arrivals of UK-resident foreigners in Colombia had a 5.0% variation, compared to the same period in 2018.