Colombian tourism has grown by leaps and bounds over the past several years, as evidenced by the more than 1.8 million visitors who spent time in the country in 2013. Those in charge of welcoming the tourism boom are becoming increasingly well prepared for the future. Follow along with us as we summarize new Colombia-specific apps for your smartphone device. Then, we’ll take a quick look at the sustainability efforts put forth by the port city of Cartagena.
We talk to would-be travelers all the time and one of the biggest hurdles with Colombia is a general fear of the unknown. Many of those who contact us know a lot about the dark past of the country, but they are not always aware of the strides that authorities have taken to make Colombia a safe, fun and engaging destination.
Four New Apps Open Up a World of Possibilities for Travelers On-the-Go
The modern traveller likes to ‘stay connected’ as much as possible. With this in mind, there are four new mobile/web applications designed specifically to guide and support visitors during their time in the country. Colombia.travel, Welcome to Colombia, Buceo Colombia, and Meetings Colombia all provide guests with a wide array of information and services.
The first app to be released by Proexport Colombia is Columbia.travel, which provides information on general topics such as nature, adventure and culture in addition to more specific subjects like shopping or bird watching. Featuring a directory of more than 2,100 service providers, the app covers all the essentials for visitors seeking a reservation at that perfect restaurant or hotel. Thanks to geo-location, users can map out sightseeing routes that feature more than 350 points of interest with everything from museums to exotic viewpoints. Still not sure if this is the app for you? Colombia.travel experienced over 36,000 users in its first year alone!
Welcome to Colombia provides 24/7 live chat services in three languages (English, Spanish, Portuguese) covering topics including transportation, lost items, event tickets, currency, language, weather and medical services. Buceo Colombia focuses on niche tourism such as underwater diving. For instance, the app uses Google Maps to provide information on 70 dives across 16 locations, as well as 18 diving operators in the country. Each app can be found in the Apple Store, Google Play for Android and App World by Blackberry.
Coastal Cartagena Has Big Plans for Guests Looking to Reduce Their Footprint Without Compromising Any of the Experience
The port city of Cartagena, located along the Northwest coast of Colombia, recently beat out 18 other cities to win the best Port of Sustainable Tourism Destination award. Originally intended as a cargo-only port, the Regional Port Society of Cartagena (SPRC) has spent the last five years improving infrastructure to accommodate the flood of cruise ships, which brought over 150,000 passengers and $20 million for the local economy over the same period of time. The goal is to improve the cultural and commercial aspirations of the port by focusing on hospitality, biodiversity, entertainment and sustainability.
Upgrades to the area surrounding the port include a natural wildlife sanctuary with exotic plants and animals in addition to a shopping district that features local items, including handmade crafts. The city also won the Cruise Insight Magazine award for Most Improved Destination in 2013.