Colombia was chosen as the top trending destination for tourism in 2020 in a ranking by the United States Tour Operators Association.
This announcement was made during the USTOA Annual Conference & Marketplace that brought together more than 700 companies from around the world in Orlando, according to a news release.
Colombia was also ranked in the top 10 for the second consecutive year, and for the first time, it was ranked as the number one destination, along Egypt and Croatia.
During the same event, Tourism Cares — an NTA and USTOA organization dedicated to generating social development through tourism— announced that Colombia will host its Meaningful Travel Summit in September.
Each year, the trip takes place in a different country, in partnership with large hotel chains, airlines, global tour operators, tourism associations, and international press, in order to explore investment opportunities in community tourism projects.
According to figures from Colombia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Tourism, 3,484,828 non-resident travelers visited Colombia between January and October 2019 (a 2.7% increase from 2018), according to the news release.
On the other hand, most travelers arriving to Colombia in 2019 came from the United States, which is one of ProColombia’s key markets for tourism promotion. U.S. travelers are interested mainly in cultural (music, gastronomy, cultural events, capital cities) and nature (birdwatching, trekking, adventure, cycling, nautical, wellbeing, diving) experiences.
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Additionally, National Geographic Editor At Large and global sustainable tourism expert, Costas Christ, considers that Colombia has the potential to become a leading destination for sustainable tourism as he highlighted Colombia’s diverse cultural and natural heritage back in September.
“Having traveled to more than 100 countries across six continents, there is no question in my mind that Colombia has the potential to become a world-class sustainable tourism destination,” said Christ in a news release.
Christ noted that to accomplish that goal, the South American country must follow the standards of sustainability and build its tourism economy according to the principles of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“It is important that Colombia develops tourism according to the principles of sustainable best practice. If Colombia follows sustainable tourism guidelines, I believe it would become one of the world’s, maybe even the world’s greatest nature travel destinations.”
“The reason I believe that Colombia is such a great destination for sustainable tourism is also because it is one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots.”
“One out of 10 species in the world are found in Colombia. Colombia also has a fantastic geological diversity: mountains with snow right to the Caribbean beaches; many of the world’s rare and beautiful species from birds to wildlife are found in Colombia,” explained Christ in the news release.