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Domestic Tourism Boost Over Outbound In Colombia: Ken Research

Key Topics Covered in the Report
• Detailed profile of Travel &Tourism sector in Colombia
• Historic & Forecast tourist trips across various categories: domestic, inbound, and outbound tourism
• Assessment of tourist spending patterns on various tourism related services
• Analysis of the airline, hotel, car rental, and travel intermediaries industries by customer type -leisure and business travellers
• Demand-side dynamics, Growth opportunities and Challenges in Colombia’s Travel & Tourism sector
• Regulatory framework applicable to Travel & Tourism sector in Colombia

Ken Research announced its latest publication on, “Travel and Tourism in Colombia to 2020”, offer insights on the ken-researchchanging trends and key issues within the Travel & Tourism Sector in Colombia. The publication includes an insightful analysis of demand-side dynamics, tourist flows, expenditure patterns, tourism related intermediate industries along with emerging growth opportunities and challenges inthe Travel & Tourism Sector in Colombia. The analysis of the aforementioned trends has been done across key categories within the sector: domestic tourism, inbound tourism, and outbound tourism. The report also includes analysis of trips by purpose, mode of transport andcustomer type-leisure and business travellers.

Economic Environment of Colombia
Colombia is one of the fastest growing countries in the South American Region. Colombian economy ranks third in the region after Brazil and Argentina.Colombia is prominent member of Pacific Alliance trade pact. Over the last five years, the economy has shown strong performance on account of macroeconomic stability and fiscal management; growing at an average annual rate of 5%. Recent reforms have specially focussed on strengthening the private sector. Nevertheless, adverse global environment due to global economic slowdown and falling oil prices along with internal challenge in the form of tax increases in the country has badly impacted the Colombian economy over 2014-2015. Colombian economy is expected to continue be impacted by global adverse environment in 2016 as well before starting to recover in 2017 through increased private investment & infrastructure projects.

Looking at the macroeconomic environment in the country, in 2016, Colombia is home to 47.7 million people. With GDP worth 384.9 billion USD (2014) and GDP (PPP) worth 640.1 billion USD (2014), globally Colombia is thirty-third largest economy and third largest in South America.The sector wise contribution to the GDP includes 52.7%, 38% and 9.3% by services, industry and agriculture sector respectively. Petroleum comprising around 45% of Colombia’s exports and manufacturing comprising around 12% are the main source of revenue generation for the govt.Inflation in Colombia is one of the lowest in the region and is gradually declining. Spectacular macroeconomic stability in the country has led to fivefold increase in FDI since 2000, reaching 16.1 billion USD in 2016, with US being the main source of the foreign investment flow. As a result of strong commercial & economic ties with the global world and signing of FTAs with increasing number of countries, trade and exports have shown fourfold rise since 2000. Again, US is the leading export destination. Colombia’s economy is highly dynamic and offers high growth prospects for coming years.

Brief Overview of Travel & Tourism Sector in Colombia
Travel & Tourism has emerged as a fastest growing economic activity all over the world. Tourism sector is one of the most crucial sectors in Colombia’s economy as well. According to World Tourism Organisation, tourism growth in Colombia has outpaced global as well as South American tourism growth. The direct contribution of the sector in country’s GDP is around 2.2%. The most popular city in Colombia is Colombia’s capital and largest city, Bogotá, with over 50% of visitors. Cartagena comes in second with about 11% of visitors and Medellín comes in third with about 10% of visitors.With very rich and diverse geography, including the Amazon and the Andean regions; the Caribbean & Pacific Coasts; the desert of La Guajira etc. along with the presence of unique biodiversity, Colombia has great potential for eco-tourism as well. Colombia is increasingly focusing on their tourism sector growth so as to firmly establish the country as a leading international tourist destination on the global platform.

Strong growth track of the tourism sector continued in 2015,however, the weakening of the ‘Peso’ hassignificantly impacted the demand-side dynamics. Due to weak currency, Colombians are turning to domestic trips over outbound trips. Also, as a result of weak peso, inbound tourism has witnessed remarkable growth over last few years: 8.2% in 2013, 7.4% in 2014, and 16.3% in 2015. International arrivals, largely from US and Venezuela, totalled 2.3 million in 2015. Outbound tourism has been suffering as a result of falling value of peso. Outbound trips declined by -1.3% in 2015 while expenditure declined by -0.6%.

Recent factors driving growth of the tourism sector in Colombia are mainly weak domestic currency and improved safety as the government has signed ceasefire agreement with FARC rebels to put an end to 50years old conflict between them. Along with this indirect role of the govt., the govt. is also supporting the sector directly through various tourism friendly regulations. One such regulation is the new tax policy of the govt. exempting foreign tourists from the 16% sales tax (VAT) on tourism-related services.

However, the sector has its own challenges, especially the gradually increasing congestions at airports urging the construction of new airport and capacity expansion in the country. For example, El Dorado airport at Bogota was originally designed to handle 15 to 17 million passengers a year but it had to handle 30 million passengers in 2015. As a result, Government is coming up with new airport plans by 2021.

Major Market Players in Colombia’s Travel & Tourism Sector
Tourism sector operates through collaboration among various intermediate industries such as airline, hotel, car rental, and travel intermediaries. Market players in each of these industries collaborate and strategize their actions to achieve maximum share in their respective market.

Some of the major players operating in these intermediate industries are: Avianca, LanColombia, VivaColombia, Copa Airlines Colombia, Satena, GHL Hotels, Hotels Estelar, Hotels y Resorts Decameron, InterContinental Hotels Group, Hotels Royal, Hotels LaurelesEstadio, Hilton Hotels and Resorts, OperadoresHoteleros Santorini, Solar Hotels and Hotels Dann.

Colombia’s Travel & Tourism Sector Prospects
Colombia’s Travel and Tourism sector has shown spectacular performance with consistently increasing its contribution to GDP and has gradually established itself as a leading international tourist destination. Over the forecast period (2016-2020), the strong growth of the sector is expected to continue with even more momentum, mainly driven by the weak peso and improved safety in the country. Weak peso will continue to support domestic and inbound tourism growth while leading to decline in outbound tourism growth. Over the forecast period, domestic tripare projected to grow at an average annual rate of 5.7%, to reach 32.6 million domestic trips by 2020; inbound tourism is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 6.7% to reach 3.2 million international arrivals by 2020; and declining outbound tourism is expected to reach 5.1 million by 2020. Also, the sector growth will be reinforced by the construction of new airports as well as the expansion of the existing ones.

Key factors that will drive the future growth of the tourism sector in Colombia include:
• Weak peso
• Improved safety ( Ceasefire agreement between govt. & FARC)
• New tax policy (16% sales tax (VAT) exemption to foreign tourist on tourism related services)
• New airports construction plans by government
• Increasing international & domestic flights to Colombia
• Great potential for ecotourism

Thus starting from a relatively low base, tourism sector has shown remarkable performance and is expected to continue with the spectacular growth over several coming years outpacing the tourism market in the South American region.

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