The first half of 2015 saw more than 1.2 million visitors enter Colombia, according to statistics released by the Colombian Ministry of Industry, Business and Tourism. That’s an increase of over 12% versus the same period last year, when visits totaled nearly 1.1 million.
The growth in visitors was driven primarily by tourism from foreign residents. From January to June 2015, the number of foreign visitors arriving by plane surpassed the million-person mark, a growth of over 18% versus the same period in 2014. Of these visitors, 70% traveled to Colombia for “Tourism”, while a further 17% indicated their purpose as “Business”. Meanwhile, “Education” and “Work” reasons made up less than 3% each.
Bogotá D.C. continued to receive the lion’s share of visitors at just over 50%. That was followed by the Bolívar Department (primarily Cartagena) at 14% and the Antioquia department (primarily Medellín) at 10%.
The impressive statistics are the latest in a decade-long success story for Colombia’s tourism industry. Thanks to increases in security as well as expanded services for foreigners, the number of visits to Colombia has more than doubled since 2006, with the most significant increases occurring over the last three years.