Is Colombia on the Verge of a Tourism Boom?
PHOTO: Bogota (courtesy Thinkstock)
Only until the last few years has Colombia made a resurgence in the eyes of travelers.
Last week, the signing of a peace deal between one of the country’s biggest rebel groups and the government might just eliminate those images from people’s minds for good.
“Mention Bogota to many travelers and they think of war, Pablo Escobar and cocaine, which in different forms have plagued the country for decades. The signing of a peace deal last week with Farc, the country’s biggest armed rebel group, allows the government to open its coffers to the tourist dollars,” writes Laura Dixon in The Times.
Farc’s leader announced that the war was over and Colombia’s president Juan Manuel Santos: “Many of the most beautiful places in Colombia were affected by the conflict. With peace, Colombians and foreigners can enjoy unique experiences in these places.”
Tourism is big business in Colombia. One in 12 Colombians work in the tourism industry notes The Times. Last year, more than 4.5 million visitors headed to the country. With a permanent peace deal, tourism could begin to truly thrive again.
Lonely Planet’s Kevin Raub told The Times: “During all of the dark years of the Eighties and Nineties, all but the most adventurous — and perhaps insane — avoided the country and it has been amazing to watch it slowly transform.”
To learn more about what a peace deal will mean when it comes to transforming the image of Colombia in the minds of travelers, read more here.
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