Tourism in Medellín grew 50% in five years
In this four-year period, 1,19,252 international travelers arrived in the Paisa capital. The sector contributes 8.2% to the city’s GDP.
Of the six million foreign visitors that, it is estimated, will have arrived in the country at the end of 2019, for one million the main destinations will have been Medellín and Antioquia.
This was revealed by the executive director of Fenalco Antioquia, Sergio Ignacio Soto, who highlights this region’s strengths such as holding events, culture, nature and the ecology of the subregions.
“Tourism, we can say it calmly, has become a front for social development, with the generation of high employment rates; and economic development, with great contributions to the country’s economy ”, argues Soto.
According to the Medellín Bureau, which is the office that promotes tourism, between 2016 and 2019 more than 2.9 million visitors have entered the city, which shows an increase of 50% in the last five years. For the executive director of this agency, Ana María Moreno, “this is one of the indicators that show the growth that the city has achieved in attracting tourists.”
In the same period, according to the Tourism Indicators System -Situr-, in charge of Fenalco, 1,19,252 international travelers arrived in the capital of Antioquia in the last three years, 74% more than the previous four-year period.
Keys and polka dots
In the city there is the so-called Tourism Cluster, made up of airlines, airports, travel agencies, land transport, hotels, the gastronomic sector and the taxi union, which has been key in the consolidation of this as one of the most prosperous and growing businesses in the city.
For the Secretary of Economic Development, Paula Andrea Zapata, a key factor has been the offer and promotion of the city and the department, which this year have participated in 17 national and international trade fairs and agendas with an interest in nature, culture, transformation and gastronomy.
“Tourism is the driving force behind the city’s projection and visibility,” says Zapata, who reveals that the sector generates 290,000 jobs a year and contributes 8.2% of the city’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product).
Soto, from Fenalco, admits that the city is exposed to sexual tourism, exploitation of children and adolescents, associated with criminal networks, but that this phenomenon, which was very visible at the beginning of the year with the arrests of several foreigners, has experienced an improvement thanks to the joint work of the unions and the authorities.