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Colombia: Tourism
Country Study > Chapter 3 > The Economy > Services > Tourism

TOURISM


Tourism, normally a vital component of the service sector -- particularly for a country as diverse culturally, geographically, and historically as Colombia -- did not contribute significantly to economic growth. Although Colombia had attractive, modern hotels in the capital city and other major metropolitan centers and offered natural attractions such as the Caribbean coastline, remote jungles, and steep mountain ranges, persistent reports of kidnappings, assassinations, drug-related violence, and guerrilla activities diminished tourist interest in Colombia, even though foreigners generally were not the targets of this violence. The government did not actively pursue tourism.

The cost of Colombia's poor image was made evident by statistics. In 1978 more than 826,000 tourists contributed US$328.5 million to Colombia's foreign exchange earnings. By 1984 tourist arrivals had dropped to about 715,000 and had rendered only US$231 million in foreign exchange. The prospects for expanded tourist receipts, despite enormous potential, were dismal under the social conditions prevailing in the late 1980s. Analysts did not expect violence to subside, and as a result they did not believe that tourism would recover significantly.

Data as of December 1988




Last Updated: December 1988


Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Colombia was first published in 1988. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on Factba.se.

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