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A country of contrasts, unexplored landscapes, vast biodiversity, rich cultures, and ancient histories, Colombia is also known for passionate people and a growing reputation as a leading sustainable, culinary, and LGBT destination. Moreover, ProColombia wants to spread the news that the new-look South American country is also eager to welcome Canadians.

During its recent first virtual “Annual Tourism Forum in Canada,” the country’s tourism department brought together 52 Colombian tourism suppliers and 33 Canadian tour operators in an extensive program designed to forge links to boost tourism from Canada to Colombia and help demystify a country that has been officially civil-war free for close to five years.

“Canada is one of the most important markets for positioning Colombia as a tourist destination, which is why we decided to organize an exclusive event for Canada for the first time,” said ProColombia’s president Flavia Santoro. “We want to continue to form close ties and create opportunities for Colombian tourism businesses that have adapted their tourism offerings to include biosafe, high quality, and sustainable experiences.”

Among the highlights for attendees was the “Sustainable and Responsible Tourism, Beyond Platitudes” panel, as well as a virtual tour of some of Colombia’s main destinations, such as Bogotá, Medellín and Cartagena.

The tourism board also put a spotlight on the country’s famous coffee culture with a so-called “Coffee Baptism ceremony,” demonstrating the unique traditions and rituals involved in making a Colombian cup of coffee.

Colourful Cartagena

Top 10

ProColombia has also issued a top 10 list of reasons why Canadians should consider a post-pandemic visit to the country:

1. With its five-decade civil war having ended in 2016, Colombia continues to shed the troubled history of its past through community and eco driven initiatives.

2. Colombia is the most biodiverse country on earth per square kilometer and home to 10% of the Earth’s flora and fauna.

3. There aren’t many places in the world where you can sun yourself on a Caribbean beach and see snow-capped mountains at the same time as in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta or in the Colombia’s Pacific coast, where the beaches are surrounded by jungle and waters host humpback whales from July to October.

4. Barranquilla Carnival, one of the world’s largest, offers a spectacular display of Colombia’s multifarious cultures: African, Indigenous, European and Middle Eastern.

5. Up-and-coming, chic and cosmopolitan cities include booming Bogota and award-winning Medellin.

6. Some of the world’s best coffee is grown in Colombia, spawning a budding coffee tourism industry.

7. The country has a great reputation for friendliness and hospitality.

8. Hailed as the “Land of more than 1,000 Rhythms,” every corner of Colombia moves to its own distinct sound.

9. Diverse topography and climate that offers over 38 key training trails has led to a booming cycle-tourism industry.

10. Colombia has formally recognized the importance of protecting the environment and supporting local communities, including through its tourism initiatives.

Photo – Ada Tours

Colombian tour operator Ada Tours similarly weighs in with its own list of attributes:

• Fluffy statues and pictures at the Botero museum and in Cartagena

• The colourful colonial city gem Cartagena with its cobblestoned streets and pirate fortresses

• The “seven-coloured” Macarena river

• Whale-watching and turtle rescue projects

• Great diving at Taganga

• The amazing “lost city” of Santa Marta

• A beautiful blue-coloured hike through Tayrona national park

• Delicious coffee, but also green valleys and canopy, horseback riding, hiking, and hot air ballooning in the coffee region

• Medellin’s vibrant nightlife

• Helicopter flight over the lagoons and mountains of the Penol area

• Ancient mysterious statues at San Agustin

• A salt cathedral and beautiful lake at Sipaquira and Guatavita

• San Andres, a Caribbean gem island with turquoise waters

• And, “majestuous”(sic) Bogota

First published at Travel Industry Today

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