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Colombia’s Beauty Featured at Madrid’s Metro Station During FITUR


Colombia metro station madrid
“The country of beauty”, name of the Colombia metro station in Madrid, Spain – Credit: Procolombia

The “Colombia” station of the Madrid subway in Spain will change its name slightly during the days of the Tourism Fair, Fitur, until January 28. In an effort to promote the South American nation, the station will adopt the slogan ‘The Country of Beauty’ (Colombia, el País de la Belleza), a phrase the Colombian government has used to boost foreign tourism since the previous year

The new name can be read both at the entrances to the subway and on new signs around the station, and the public will also find a space inside the subway facilities where they can have their picture taken with the beaches of the Tayrona Park in Santa Marta, on the Caribbean coast, as a backdrop. During the inauguration of this new provisional name, the Colombian dance group Fundación Nativos de Macondo entertained those attending the event with a dance performance.

Colombia lands at Fitur

These acts are in addition to the murals that, with motifs of Colombian folklore, adorn the walls of the subway station of the capital of Spain. This is the way the Colombian government has decided to introduce the country at the Fitur tourism fair, one of the most important in the world and where Colombia hopes to encourage even more international tourism to the country.

The murals were unveiled in September 2021, by the then Minister of Transport and Infrastructure of the Madrid region, David Perez, and the Colombian Minister of Culture, Angelica Mayolo. The work “Colombia Diverse and Vital” belongs to the artist Gabriel Calle Arango, a painter who has created more than 500 murals in Colombia and other countries. The piece “Origen de las manos” is by Vértigo Graffiti, an artist collective made up of Camilo Fidel López, Ricardo Vázquez and Santiago Castro, who are dedicated to graffiti and art projects in public spaces and have participated in festivals around the world.

Colombia metro station madrid
The murals in the Colombia station of the Madrid subway from 2021 onwards – Credit: Madrid Subway

Growing power in tourism

Colombia is the third country in Latin America in number of international tourists. However, the government of Gustavo Petro wants to encourage the arrival of more foreign visitors and, to this end, has set up a campaign to promote the natural landscapes and exuberance that the country has to offer.

The Petro government has high expectations for this important international showcase. Procolombia, the state agency in charge of promoting tourism and foreign investment, has explained that “a delegation of more than 40 tour operators is present” at the Colombian stand at Fitur. The objective is to facilitate the arrival of tourists from all over the world, at affordable prices due to a greater offer of tourist packages.

The country’s tourism data continues to show a clear upward trend. In 2022, 4.6 million foreign visitors arrived in Colombia, but the figure was even higher last year. Although recovery from the effects of the Covid19 pandemic played a role in this growth, the figures point to a clear increase in international tourists, compared to pre-2020 visitors.

In November 2023 data, the arrival of tourists represented an increase of 29.3%, compared to the previous year, which, in fact, had already set a record number of visitors. Thus, for example, in 2022, Colombia received more foreign tourists than other leaders in the sector such as Argentina or Brazil.

More air routes

In this regard, the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arturo Bravo, said that the reason for the increase in the number of non-resident visitors to the country is due to “the substantial improvement that Colombia has achieved in terms of air connectivity with the rest of the world”, something that the government expects to continue improving at Fitur 2024.

According to the vice minister, between January and August 2023, 31.3 million people were mobilized by air, an increase of 1.8% over the same period in 2022. In addition, between January and September 2023, more than 47,000 air frequencies were registered, 11% more than in the same period of the previous year.

For now, Colombia has 26 international airlines connecting 11 cities with 26 countries and 49 international cities. During the past year, 21 new air routes were announced, of which 14 were already in operation before the end of 2023.

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