Colombia has increased the number of cruise ships arriving in the country threefold in the last six years according to new figures from the ministry of commerce, industry and tourism.
In 2006 there were 53 landfalls recorded in the Latin American country’s ports, snowballing to 166 in 2012.
The number of passengers figure has also dramatically increased.
Between 2006 and 2007 Colombia received 65,111 cruise passengers while between 2011 and 2012 this figure rose to 260,404.
Maria Claudia Lacouture, president of Proexport Colombia, the country’s tourist board explained: “The cruises and international events that came to Colombia in recent years have fuelled the growth of international tourism in the country and we aim to become one of the major players in this sector.
“To achieve these results we have worked with local authorities and the cruise companies to include Colombian ports to their destinations.”
During the 2012-2013 season, the arrival of 347,334 cruise passengers and approximately 193 landfalls are expected in Cartagena, one of the country’s ports, which translates into an increase of 16 per cent against the previous season’s record of ships arriving at the port.
Residensea, Carnival Cruise Lines and Disney Cruise Lines have returned to the country after years of hiatus.
Also, for the first time, the Japanese Asuka which arrived in Cartagena in 2012 will return to the port in 2014 despite its guidelines of not repeating a destination.