Breaking Travel News interview: Flavia Santoro, president, ProColombia

Colombia has introduced a brand new model manifesto for the vacation spot: ‘Colombia, the most welcoming place on Earth.’

With the restart of worldwide journey on the horizon, the nation goals to stimulate worldwide tourism progress and ignite travellers’ wanderlust by spotlighting the heat and kindness of its populace.

The new manifesto, which is led by ProfessionalColombia, is the results of in depth quantitative and qualitative analysis, which identifies the core essence of Colombia to be the heat and kindness of its individuals.

Here Breaking Travel News chats with Flavia Santoro, President of ProfessionalColombia, to search out out extra.

Breaking Travel News: Where does tourism in Colombia stand in July 2021? Are the borders open to travellers? What necessities are at present in place to sluggish the unfold of Covid-19?

Flavia Santoro: International air connectivity in Colombia is open.

Today the nation is linked to 22 international locations with 21 airways, which implies that we now have recovered 62 per cent of the air frequencies we had in early 2020.

And throughout 2021, 28 new routes have been introduced, flying from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Ecuador and Peru and 15 of those have already began operations.

New tips for the arrival of worldwide travellers to our nation embrace the next:

  • It isn’t necessary to current a damaging PCR check earlier than the flight.
  • Travellers should fill out the Check-Mig kind at the very least one to 24 hours earlier than the flight.
  • Travellers should put on masks always.
  • They should report signs related to Covid-19: cough, shortness of breath, sore throat or fatigue and mustn’t board if they’ve these signs.
  • International passengers are obliged to provide actual details about their well being standing, their current contact with suspected or confirmed circumstances of Covid-19, adjust to the directions of the well being authorities and provides actual details about their phone quantity and tackle in Colombia. Foreign travellers should present a nationwide phone quantity to allow them to be simply contacted.

BTN: There is hope the scenario might return to one thing like regular over the approaching months as vaccines start to influence on the virus. What are your ambitions, when it comes to customer numbers, for Colombia this 12 months?

FS: We are very optimistic about the way forward for tourism in Colombia.

The nation had been having fun with regular, year-on-year progress in customer numbers previous to the coronavirus pandemic, with the annual variety of guests within the 2012-2018 interval rising at almost double the common world fee.

Also, progress between 2014 and 2019 rose 11.6 per cent.

Average worldwide tourism progress within the Americas between 2012 and 2019 was 4.4 per cent, lower than half of the 9.1 per cent Colombia noticed.

We are certain that we are going to proceed bettering on the great numbers that we now have already been registering.

According to a current research by Despegar, some of the essential on-line journey companies on the continent, Colombia is among the international locations within the area with the best restoration of its tourism sector above international locations akin to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and the United States.

There are additionally excellent projections relating to the arrival of non-resident travellers to Colombia in line with a research by FowardKeys, which stories greater than 115 thousand air reservations made to our nation, principally from the United States, Chile, Spain, Argentina and France for journey in April – September 2021.

BTN: The nation has seen continued political unrest in current weeks – is that this impacting on reopening, or tourism promotion, plans?

FS: The world has confronted extraordinarily difficult occasions as a result of Covid-19 pandemic, and Colombia has not been an exception.

However, our nation is an instance of how tough occasions may be reworked in a optimistic approach.

With a wealthy and various historical past Colombia has been via intervals of transition and progress, at all times remaining resilient with a spirit of heat and openness at its coronary heart. We know we’ll rise once more stronger collectively from the present scenario.

We will proceed to make each effort to advertise the immediate restoration of our tourism business, we’re working to adapt the sector to the brand new necessities of worldwide and native travellers.

We strongly consider tourism is a strong and transformative software for native communities with an incredible influence on the event of the areas and we want to leverage this.

Colombia has undergone a optimistic transformation in recent times, and we now have earned recognition as a should go to vacation spot and key industrial ally for a lot of markets.

People who go to Colombia know that Colombians are extraordinarily pleasant, welcoming, and heat!

There is little question that these days, Colombia is among the trendiest locations.

We are proud to received recognition on the World Travel Awards Latin America Gala Ceremony in 2020.

These identical awards nominated the nation once more this 12 months in 22 classes highlighting our biodiversity and cultural wealth.

We have additionally been thought-about a profitable instance of innovation and social transformation and as we proceed to welcome guests and present them that Colombia is a contemporary and evolving nation, we consider our popularity as a secure, pleasant and inclusive nation will solely proceed to strengthen.

BTN: As the market begins to reopen, ProfessionalColombia has launched a brand new, consumer-facing manifesto for the nation. What are you able to inform us about that?

FS: Yes, I’m delighted to announce the vacation spot’s new model manifesto is ‘Colombia, the most welcoming place on Earth.’

At a time when a heat welcome, a form embrace and a sense of true neighborhood has by no means been so essential, we really feel that our daring but easy message encapsulates what world travellers are searching for.

To make clear, we carried out in depth quantitative and qualitative analysis with greater than 1,500 surveys and focus teams with Colombians and foreigners to establish what the core essence of Colombia is and finally, the heat and kindness of our individuals lay on the coronary heart of it.

When individuals say you’ll be able to decide a spot by its individuals, I couldn’t agree extra and that is exactly why Colombia has chosen to construct its new manifesto narrative across the heat and kindness for which our individuals are recognized.

The worldwide launch can be on Monday, July nineteenth and whereas we recognize that these with wanderlust may have to attend somewhat longer earlier than experiencing the heat of

Colombia first-hand, we invite travellers and journey commerce alike to expertise ‘the most welcoming place on Earth’ through our devoted ‘Neighbourhood of Neighbourhoods’ webpage.

Designed to appear like a map of Colombia with native communities, the interactive ‘map’ will assist guests uncover every of the six Colombian areas, showcasing it as a melting pot of cultures, flavours, rhythms and hues all underpinned by a constant, acquainted and native welcome.

With genuine video content material and native narratives, we hope the ‘Neighbourhood of Neighbourhoods’ webpage will act as an extension of Colombia’s neighborhood, demonstrating its welcoming ethos and in depth providing.

We wish to say ‘whatever you are looking for and whatever your needs, Colombia is a place where you don’t should knock, as a result of the door is at all times open’.

BTN: The new marketing campaign seeks to position the individuals of Colombia as central to its providing. How is that this completely different from how the nation has been promoted up to now?

FS: We extremely worth the Colombia Country Brand; it’s an asset that has knowledgeable the world about our great nation for the final ten years.

First, the message was “Colombia is Passion”.

It centered on exhibiting the creativity, resourcefulness, expertise and keenness that characterises Colombians.

It served to reawaken a way of nationwide belonging and because of this basis, in 2012, we moved to “The Answer is Colombia,” a message centered on telling the world that we had been the reply to all its wants.

With this message, we centered on utilizing information and knowledge to exhibit the essential progress that Colombia had made when it comes to competitiveness.

With “The Answer is Colombia,” we determined to align the campaigns to advertise ProfessionalColombia’s traces of labor: non-mining and non-energy exports, overseas direct funding and worldwide tourism.

ProfessionalColombia will incorporate these campaigns into the brand new Manifesto whereas retaining lots of the prior campaigns’ components and messages.

This manifesto has been created to get again to the start of all of it, because the research carried out exhibit that Colombians’ heat is what we’re recognized for globally.

We are getting again to individuals, to what makes us distinctive.

BTN: How essential is tourism to Colombia and the way do you count on this to alter over the approaching years?

FS: In the final decade, tourism in Colombia has turn out to be an essential supply of overseas trade and employment for the nation.
President Duque has referred to as the sector “the new petroleum”.

In 2019, the tourism sector reached historic figures: 4.5 million non-resident guests arrived within the nation, a rise of three per cent in contrast with 2018; lodge occupancy was 57 per cent (the best within the final 15 years) and generated 6,751 million {dollars}, two per cent greater than in 2018, which makes it the non-mining vitality sector that generated essentially the most overseas forex that 12 months.

Last 12 months was undoubtedly a 12 months of excessive expectations for the sector.

However, the pandemic pressured Colombia to alter plans and rapidly adapt to the brand new circumstances.

So, we took isolation as a possibility to organize a secure reactivation of the tourism sector and at ProfessionalColombia we created a restoration plan with three priorities: adapting to alter, facilitating air connectivity and producing confidence within the worldwide traveller to go to Colombian locations.

For us sustainability is greater than an attribute, it’s the coronary heart and the pillar of our tourism business.

We are making regular progress on this regard.

For instance, the ministry of commerce, business and tourism reformed the final tourism regulation, placing sustainability as a basic axis.

It now formally recognises that the safety of the atmosphere and native communities is important for the restoration of the Colombian tourism business after the pandemic.

In addition, we’re the second most biodiverse nation on the planet; ornithologically, we come high with greater than 1,900 species of birds, we additionally come high for our orchids and lately for butterflies too, as declared by the Natural History Museum of London’s research.

Also, we’re second place for amphibians, third for crops and reptiles and fourth for mammals.

This means nice duty that we embrace with whole dedication.

More Information

ProfessionalColombia is a authorities entity chargeable for selling worldwide tourism and overseas direct funding in Colombia, non-mining vitality exports and the nation model.

Through its nationwide and worldwide community of workplaces, it affords Colombian corporations assist and complete recommendation via providers or devices centered on encouraging the design and execution of their worldwide methods, in addition to facilitating the era and growth of enterprise alternatives.

Images: ProfessionalColombia

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