Colombia has been campaigning very strongly in the last two years, to position its name as a premiere, unique and exotic, yet easily accessible tourism and travel destination in South America. The imaginative and well-selling slogan of “the only risk is that you may want to stay” has boosted the interest of many travel companies, travel magazines and tour operators to start focusing more on the north-Andean country. Colombia’s Government Agency for Exportations, Investment and Tourism Promotion, Pro-Export, has been a vital leader to undertake these efforts, together with the private sector.
As results of the intensive campaign, the Colombian authorities announced yet one more hit which is certainly expected to increase the interest of travelers for the fascinating South American nation: the highly and world-reputed National Geographic Traveler Magazine, will release a Colombia Travel Guide next September, a fantastic 320-page book, which will include 120 color photos and 15 maps, presenting the best of this relatively new tourism haven.
The Guide’s author is Christopher Baker, an acclaimed travel writer, who made several trips to Colombia since 2010, to capture the essence of the wonderful Andean country. Among the main spots deeply scouted by the famed writer were Bogota, Medellin, the coffee region in western Colombia and of course the popular vacation spot and historic city of Cartagena, on the western Caribbean shores. On a recent declaration, the Guide’s author said that “It is about time for Colombia to become an international tourist destination. The country has the ideal profile for National Geographic due to its amazing nature and cultural aspects”. He added that “Colombia is one of the richest countries in terms of touristic attractions, which meets everyone’s needs and interests, from bird-watching to active adventures and culinary challenges, the country is prepared to receive both groups and independent travelers”.
The unveiling of the Guide took place at a New York Seminar to promote tourism to Colombia and is part of Pro-Export’s Matchmaking Forum, which brings together 150 United States wholesalers, tour operators, airlines and promotion agencies, invited to learn about the benefits and advantages of travel into Colombia. National Geographic in turn announced that they plan to release the book at its stores; specialized shops and on-line, next September. This important move will, more than likely, trigger an intensified interest amongst international travelers, to visit the country. Meanwhile, the most recent figures of the Colombian Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, showed a significant increase of 5.3% of tourism visitors to the country between January and April of this year, as compared with the same period of 2011.
As Colombia prepares for a new boom of visitors, the Civil Aviation Authority in the meantime approved the operation of new direct flights from the capital city of Bogota to London, with one daily frequency, ran by Avianca, marking a new landmark for travelers to and from the U.K. with flights without the need to change planes in other European cities like Frankfurt of Madrid. Also approved were two weekly direct flights from Cartagena to Toronto, due to begin operating in 2013, these ones offered by Copa Airlines. To complete the upgrading of connectivity for the tourism and travel destinations in Colombia, the Aeronautic Authorities have also approved new routes from the northern coastal city of Barranquilla to Aruba and to the increasingly popular northeast Colombian city of Valledupar. The idea is to provide the facilities for voyagers to visit Colombia and to increase the country’s connection domestically as well as worldwide.