Tourism has been at the forefront of Colombia’s economic and social transformation over the last decade. On the back of this success, Colombian President, Juan Manuel Santos, joined the UNWTO/WTTC Global Leaders for Tourism Campaign (Bogotá, Colombia, 3 November 2011).
President Juan Manuel Santos expressed his complete support to the Campaign, identifying tourism as one of the most important economic sectors of his country. “Tourism generates quality employment and is a powerful engine for growth and development, also involving other sectors of the economy,” he said.
Colombia is the first South American country to join the UNWTO/WTTC Global Leaders for Tourism Campaign which seeks political support at the highest level for the tourism sector.
“With tourism becoming a state policy through Presidential mandate, Colombia stands out as a clear case of how tourism can change the image of a country, positively impacting all areas related to its external positioning while promoting infrastructure development, attracting foreign capital and fostering trade,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.
David Scowsill, President & CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) said: “The recognition by President Santos of the importance of tourism to Colombia’s economic and social development sends out a strong message, not just to those hundreds of thousands of people in Colombia who are employed as a result of tourism activity, but to leaders throughout the world”.
Tourism has been instrumental in changing the image of Colombia over the last years, “which has put us back on the global tourism map, as proven by the double-digit growth rates we achieved over the last decade,” said Sergio Día z Granados, Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism of Colombia. According to UNWTO data, international tourism grew four-fold from 2000 to 2010 – from 575,000 to over 2 million.
Note to Editors:
Through the Global Leaders for Tourism Campaign, UNWTO and WTTC are jointly presenting heads of state and government around the world an Open Letter which calls on them to acknowledge tourism’s key role in delivering more sustained and balanced growth and to prioritize the sector high in national policies in order to maximize its potential. The Open Letter outlines Travel & Tourism’s value as one of the world’s largest generators of jobs, a powerful driver of socio-economic growth and development and a key player in the transformation to the Green Economy.
Open Letter to Heads of State and Government: http://www2.unwto.org/sites/all/files/pdf/final_golden_book_open_letter_text_0.pdf
Further Information on the Joint Campaign: http://leadersfortourism.unwto.org/en
Columbia's capital, its financial, industrial and cultural centre; 9 main country museums; great number of architectural monuments.
Port on the Caribian Sea bank; 17th century citadel; ancient forts and great number of colonial buildings; Palace of the Inquisition and Archaeological museum.