Colombia's economy expected to benefit from booming cruise tourism

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-12-15 14:42:13

The port of Cartagena, Colombia's most popular tourist city, is expected to host 400,000 cruise ship passengers next year, bringing revenues of $45 million, said an industry report on Saturday.

Cruise ship activity in Colombia has grown by nearly 13 percent since 2012, bringing over 275,000 tourists to the country, according to statistics from the Florida Carribbean Cruise Association (FCCA).

A total of 15,363 foreign tourists alone, will be arriving in six cruises this weekend in Cartagena city, located on Colombia's northern Caribbean coast.

The economic impact of these cruises on the city was significant, as the city received an average 98 dollars from every tourist on board a cruise ship, in addition to port fees paid by shipping lines, the report said.

In October, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced the country's ambitious goals for cruise trade. it plans to bring 32 cruise lines to its shores and, by 2017, to open its ports to more than one million foreign tourists.

Currently, cruise ship activity contributes an estimated 33 million dollars annually to the Colombian economy, primarily in places such as Cartagena and Santa Marta, but also other ports and tourist destinations along the Caribbean coast.

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