Last Thursday, “Colombia, el país de la belleza” (Colombia, the country of beauty) was introduced. This is the new Colombian national brand to promote domestic and international tourism, as well as foreign investments. The presentation took place at the Ecoparque Nacional Los Yarumos in Manizales, Caldas. The launch was presided over by the Minister of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism, Germán Umaña.
Colombia as a National and International Brand
For the first time, a single brand will promote the country’s image both domestically and internationally. The creation of the brand considered national and international perceptions, as well as the identification of Colombia’s distinctive attributes. With these concepts in mind, the campaign aims to promote well-known aspects and those less explored by tourist routes.
The Brand Colombia highlights the natural, cultural, and historical attractions of the country. It seeks to attract international visitors and boost domestic tourism. The government has emphasized that this effort is grounded in “social, environmental, and economic justice.”
“For the first time in history, the message of the Brand Colombia is unified for national and international tourism promotion,” Minister Umaña stated. He also emphasized that this approach achieves “greater efficiency in the use of public resources.”
Attracting foreign investors
To develop the project, the government will allocate 28 billion pesos. These funds will be managed by the National Tourism Fund (Fontur) and ProColombia. These are two public institutions under the ministry responsible for promoting tourism. Their functions also include coordinating foreign investment in the country and exports.
The minister, who also oversees Industry, highlighted that this new brand doesn’t only aim to expand the tourist appeal. The goal is also to attract “foreign direct investment and non-mining energy exports, all under the umbrella of sustainability.”
In terms of figures, Germán Umaña highlighted that the program expects foreign investment of 13 billion dollars. Similarly, they are working with the idea of non-mining goods and services exports surpassing 30 billion dollars.
According to the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arturo Bravo, they project “between 7.5 million and 12 million non-resident visitors by 2026.” This activity will facilitate the creation of around 300,000 new jobs and an influx of capital in foreign exchange exceeding 9.9 billion dollars.
For Álvaro Balcázar, Fontur’s manager, the new Brand Colombia represents “a great opportunity in tourism to advance in the energy transition.” He also indicated that the path forward is to continue “strengthening the infrastructure and tourism competitiveness of non-traditional destinations and PDET territories.” These Programs for Territorial Focus Development (PDET) encompass a total of 170 municipalities. The goal is to achieve rural development by stabilizing areas most affected by violence, poverty, illicit economies, and institutional weaknesses.
Activation of domestic tourism
The new Brand Colombia also envisions the activation of domestic tourism, unifying the national and international image under a single concept. According to the provided data, more than 10.5% of Colombians are expected to engage in domestic tourism, mountaineering, and activities, especially during holiday seasons and long weekends.
Reopening of Nevado del Ruiz
The presentation event in Manizales also served to announce the reopening of the Parque Nacional Natural de Los Nevados (Los Nevados National Natural Park). This place had been closed since March due to volcanic activity at Nevado del Ruiz.
The park is located in the central range of the Colombian Andes. It spans territories in 4 Colombian departments: Caldas, Tolima, Quindío, and Risaralda, spread across 11 municipalities. Created in 1973, the park encompasses cold, páramo, and glacial elevation zones, ranging from 2,600 to 5,300 meters above sea level.