Cruise powerhouse: Colombia sees 335% increase in ship arrivals

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Sociedad Portuaria de Cartagena
Sociedad Portuaria de Cartagena

Over the course of 15 years, around 35 of the most prestigious cruise lines have reached Colombian coasts — and the number keeps growing.

Colombia has competitive advantages for cruise lines, which include coasts in the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans, a wide range of exotic beaches and a strategic location outside of the hurricane area which allows for an uninterrupted operation throughout all the year.

“An increase of 335%”

“Since 2006, there has been significant growth in the number of cruise ships coming to Colombia. Dockings increased from 53 in 2006 to 231 in 2018, an increase of 335% in ship arrivals and 646% in passenger arrivals going from 50,946 to 380,000,” said Flavia Santoro, president of ProColombia, the government agency in charge of promoting non-mining-energy exports, foreign direct investment and tourism.”

Cartagena, Colombia
Cartagena, Colombia

The improved interest of cruise lines in Colombia is demonstrated by the wide range of companies that visit the country such as Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival Cruises, Holland America, Celebrity Cruises or TUI Cruises and more recently the arrival of lines specialising in luxury and exploration.

Colombia is also a powerhouse for procurement. The country supplies cruise lines with textiles, agrobusiness products such as coffee, and has the potential to grow sustainably in this business.

“We work to increase the arrival of international cruise passengers”

José Manuel Restrepo, minister of trade, industry and tourism of Colombia said: “We work to increase the arrival of international cruise passengers to Colombia. The country has opportunities to strengthen this industry in the Caribbean region through the promotion of its touristic offer and the attraction of foreign investment in this sector.”
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