Cartagena Tourism Grows

Colombia??s resort city Cartagena is becoming a growing attraction for everyone from Bill Clinton to Ivanka Trump


BY CHRONICLE STAFF


Ivanka Trump does. So does Bill Clinton. No, we??re not talking about living in New York, but visiting Cartagena, the popular resort city on Colombia??s Caribbean coast.


?I just spent some time in Cartagena,? Ivanka Trump, executive vice president of development and acquisitions at U.S.-based Trump Organization, tells Latin Business Chronicle. ??Increasingly my friends are going down to Cartagena for New Year??s. I think it??s stunning [and] beautiful. It??s a great city.?



The Trump Organization has looked at developing property there many times, but has no concrete plans to do so for now, she adds.

Last month, President Bill Clinton toured the city as if he was an ordinary tourist (except for those bulky Secret Service guards). It was his fourth visit to the city.

Last year, Cartagena received 141,337 foreign visitors, an increase of 6.1 percent from 2007, according to official data. That also made Cartagena the second-most popular destination in Colombia after capital Bogota. However, the numbers for Bogota are likely dominated by business travelers rather than typical tourists.

TOURISM GROWING

All in all, Colombia received 1.5 million visitors last year, according to Colombia??s Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister Luis Guillermo Plata. By comparison in 2007, the country registered 1.2 million tourists. Plata did not provide figures for tourism receipts last year, but in 2007 they reached $1.7 billion, 7.4 percent increase from 2006.

The trend is continuing this year. In the first quarter, Colombia registered 7.1 percent more international visitors compared to the same period last year, the Commerce Ministry announced yesterday. Cruise arrivals in Cartagena during Easter were 75 percent higher than last year.



While Plata is content with the fact that tourism is growing, he acknowledges that the figures are still far below the potential. In 2007, for example, Colombia received fewer tourists than countries like El Salvador and Chile, while its tourism receipts were less than those of Peru and Costa Rica, according to Latin Business Chronicle rankings.

AGGRESSIVE PROMOTION



Colombian officials are therefore aggressively promoting the country. One slogan used in several campaigns says ??Colombia: The only risk is that you want to stay.?

U.S. tourists are by far the key visitor group to Colombia, accounting for 22 percent of arrivals last year. However, again most of these are likely business travelers. Venezuela comes in second, accounting for 20 percent. This is also likely a group that is heavy with business travelers.

A new trend is that cruise tourism is returning to Colombia and Cartagena. Last year, the number of cruises to Colombia grew by a whopping 63 percent to 161. Royal Caribbean returned in April 2007 after a five-year hiatus, while other cruise companies have also included the Colombian city among its destinations. ??We lost the cruise ships in 2002 and [now] they [have] returned,? Plata says. ??Royal Caribbean made Cartagena their port of entry.?

CONVENTION CENTER

Cartagena has long attracted convention tourism and major events. The Cartagena convention center, for example, has a capacity for 1,500 people and is also home to major exhibits. Meanwhile, hotels like the Cartagena Hilton, the Sofitel Santa Clara and Hotel Las Americas also boast well-developed conference facilities.



Soon they??ll be getting some competition. The InterContinental Hotels Group plans to open a 32-story hotel next year that will be part of a mixed-use complex located in the center of the modern downtown. The Holiday Inn Express Cartagena, with 118 guestrooms and 32 suites, will offer six boardroom size meeting rooms with occupancy for 20 people each, a swimming pool, a fitness center and ample parking.


http://www.latinbusinesschronicle.com/app/article.aspx?id=3273

Posted on May 2, 2009


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Comments:

Nice article, thanks for the share Simon

Posted on May 2, 2009


It's always my pleasure to share positive articles about Colombia.

Posted on May 2, 2009


Bill Clinton is a positive for Colombia....i think Cartagena is better off without that POS.....=)

Posted on May 2, 2009


My buddy and tailor extraordinaire, Edgar (and his lovely HOT daughter Vanessa) made a pile of shirts for Bill Gates when he was in Cartagena.

If you'll excuse the small thread-jack, Simon, I'll give him a little plug...

Edgar Gomez... His studio is Calle Portobelo 10 - 92 San Diago, Cartagena. Tel: 57-300-805-8753. He speaks no English.

Cheers,
Terry

Posted on May 2, 2009


Hey Simon...

Anyone thinking that "La Heroica" is representative of Colombia needs his head examined...

Sure, it's a nice city, but it is as representative of Colombia as Cancun is representative of Mexico...

Posted on May 2, 2009


CT, you mean Barrio San Diego in El Centro? i will have to look him up to do some alterations, etc.....=)

Posted on May 2, 2009


Ivanka is the Trump daughter.

Posted on May 2, 2009


Miguel,

Edgar's shop/studio (it's VERY small) is at the east end of Calle Portobelo, right across the street from the big supermarket.

Tell him you discovered him on the Internet, mentioned by Terry & Mona from Canada. He'll get a big kick out of that.

Cheers,
Terry

Posted on May 2, 2009


CT....you mean Exito San Diego then? i pass by there all the time......is there a shop name or sign by any chance?

Posted on May 2, 2009


Yup, that's the place Miguel. I forget if he has a sign... he must though. In any case it's directly south across the street from the Exito. There's a little restaurant beside it to the right, then another nice small open air salsa bar at the end of the block, towards downtown.

Edgar is a maniac. He's made clothes for presidents, poets and rock stars. He carries a pile of magazines that have articles about him in his car so that when he gets pulled over by the cops he shows them the magazines and they always let him go. I've seen it work many times.

He's the most hyper, hardest working Colombian I know and every piece he makes is still cut by hand with his antique scissors.

I don't know you money situation and you certainly don't know me but if you dropped off a six pack of Aguila from me to him then I'll pick up your whole tab anywhere you want to go in Cartagena when I'm there next. Seriously. Actually, say the beer is from Mona in Canada - he has a terrible crash in her.

All the best to you.

Cheers,
Terry

Simon, sorry about the thread-jack.

Posted on May 2, 2009


Will drop it by when i check it out...not a problem at all...=) ..Aguila o Aguila Light?.......

Posted on May 2, 2009


Miguel, when I said anywhere in Cartagena you'd like to go, I mean anywhere. You're the man.

Regular Aguila of course.

And just so you'll recognize him, he's on the right (of course) in the first photo. The second photo is his daughter who has now taken a very strong role in the business as a designer. She's a lovely gal. Very smart and very ambitious.

(And before anyone on this forum asks for an introduction: Forget it. She's WAY too classy for anyone posting here... except for maybe Bill Turley and Douglas. I'd trust those two to be perfect gentlemen... haha...)

Thanks!

Cheers,
Terry

Photobucket

Photobucket

Posted on May 2, 2009


Simon, I trust there's enough cleavage to forgive me for the thread-jack?...

Cheers,
Terry

Posted on May 2, 2009


Oh yes, the more cleavage, the better!

Posted on May 2, 2009


CT..i will try to get by there this week...its not too far from my office, and sometimes i stop by the Exito on the way home....will let you know and will take a photo if i remember to bring my camera......=)

Posted on May 2, 2009


You're the man. I owe you.

Cheers,
Terry

Posted on May 2, 2009


ivanka is a hottie..... smart to boot.

- by they way, no way is donny t getting into colombia with a hotel/resort. the locals would never be foolish enough to let that happen.

Posted on May 2, 2009


Hmm she's one and the same as her father's company - old news that they've already got their hooks into Colombia

2006: http://www.bestbulgarianproperties.co.uk/en_Colombian_real_estate_Donald_Trump_to_work_with_Colombian_industrialists_on_$500_million_U.S._project_3003_offnews.html

2009:
http://www.proexport.com.co/VBeContent/NewsDetail.asp?ID=10112&IDCompany=16

Posted on May 2, 2009


name licensing agreement only. donny is no fool and colombia is still run by the oligarchs.

- as stevie ray once said, "look at little sister". what about the neighbors, what they gonna say? maybe lacacique will correct my misstep......

Posted on May 2, 2009