2014

Proexport Colombia to Highlight Nautical Tourism Benefits at Cruise Shipping Miami 2014 With More Than 26 Cruise Lines Calling, New Destinations and Substantial Infrastructure Improvements, Colombian Ports Are Now More Attractive Than Ever to International Travelers

MIAMI, March 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- (Pxp) -- Proexport Colombia today announced its presence at Cruise Shipping Miami 2014. Taking place March 10-13, 2014, in Miami, Florida, the international event has served the cruise industry for 30 years, bringing together buyers and suppliers for networking, sourcing and education. With recent improvements to Colombia's cruise destinations, including Cartagena de Indias, Santa Marta and San Andres, and Providence and St. Catalina, Proexport Colombia will highlight the opportunities associated with the cruise industry in the country while at the event. Cruise Shipping Miami follows Proexport's participation at February's Miami International Boat Show and leads up to the Cartagena Boat Show in Colombia later this month.

"Colombia is a premier destination for both the boating industry and nautical tourism due to the unique charm of its port cities and its attractive location on the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean," said Maria Claudia Lacouture, President of Proexport, the Colombian government agency charged with promoting trade, investment and tourism. "In line with the message of 'Colombia is Magical Realism,' travelers to Colombia are able to experience the country's beauty, culture and history while also being made to feel welcome by both its people and amenities."

Colombia's cruise season, which lasts from October to May, is experiencing significant growth. Since 2006, arrivals have increased eight times, from 50,946 passengers and 43 calls to 414,791 passengers and 210 calls this season. While Colombia's primary Caribbean destinations include Cartagena de Indias, Santa Marta and San Andres, Providence and St. Catalina, the country is working to introduce Pacific Coast destinations in response to the growing interest of cruise lines on its West Coast.

With the worldwide cruise industry estimated at $36.2 billion – a 4.5 percent increase over 2012 – Cruise Market Watch notes that the industry is one of the least vulnerable international market segments due to competitive prices, innovation with new ships and technology, new ports of call and new short itineraries. Capitalizing on this trend, Colombia has seen cruise arrivals reach significant growth during the last seven years, further establishing the country as an ideal location for foreign travelers and investments.

Cartagena de Indias has traditionally been the most popular Colombian destination, with attractions including rich cultural heritage and pristine water and beaches. According to Business Research & Economic Advisors (BREA), the average amount spent per cruise upon arrival is $98.80, resulting in $33.4 million spent in total by 2012. To continue to establish Colombia as a preferred destination for nautical tourism, thus boosting economic prosperity and job creation, Cartagena will host the Cartagena Boat Show, March 22-24, 2014, the most important nautical exhibition in Latin America. Roughly 3,000 attendees are expected at the event, which will feature national and international manufacturers and merchants of products and services directed to people interested in recreational nautical activities, both for sporting and professional uses.

Colombia's involvement in these events represents the exciting tourism opportunities available for international travelers within the country. Proexport's aim through its tourism campaigns is to showcase all of its different, magical, unique and inspiring vacation destinations, from beaches to mountains, deserts, cities and jungles. With more than 800 direct flights from 20 different countries and 26 cruise lines arriving in three major ports of call, there are many ways for visitors to experience the country.

For more information on travel to Colombia, please visit www.colombia.travel/en.

SOURCE Proexport Colombia



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