Medellin, February 28th 2017

Press Release

Antioquia and Medellin lead national growth as to foreigner arrivals and have the greatest hotel occupancy in ten years

While the average growth of foreigner arrivals in the country was 12% last year, Medellin had 24% more foreigners, which means twice the country’s rate and five times the world average. With the recent local and state governments, this region of the country plans to maintain its first rank in the tourist growth of Colombia in the next years.

As to tourism, for the Capital of Antioquia, the balance could not be better. Medellin achieved the highest hotel occupancy registered in 10 years, reaching 65.4% in 2016 with the arrival of 702,086 tourists, 15% more than in 2015, and a higher number than that registered in the past nine years, even visitors coming from countries such as Panama, U.K and Peru doubled their arrival last year compared to 2015.


Historic record of foreigner visitors to Medellin:

2008: 270,080

2009: 328,252

2010: 372,415

2011: 381,098

2012: 403,925

2013: 489,938

2014: 549,455

2015: 608,525

2016: 702,086


Historic record of hotel occupancy in Medellin:

2007: 58.95%

2008: 55.30%

2009: 47.51%

2010: 50.66%

2011: 50.08%

2012: 54.08%

2013: 57.33%

2014: 59.31%

2015: 63.07%

2016: 65.49%

Macro-projects for Antioquia

From the Government of Antioquia, the priority for tourism development in the region in 2017 aims at formulating nine tourism development macro-strategies that for the first time will involve the 125 municipalities, seeking to enhance their tourism vocation under four basic components: nature, culture, heritage, events and meetings: “Under this project, Antioquia seeks to overcome the concept of ‘interesting towns’ and transform its attractions into tourism development poles,” said Antioquia Governor, Luis Perez Gutierrez.

Partnerships with local or international private investors are part of the formulas for financing strategies which include developments (anchor theme parks) that will function as tourism triggering projects in strategic locations of the state. “From the regions we must think big to really contribute to the tourism of the country, that’s why these nine poles of innovative tourism development, are aligned with the national public policy: tourism corridors and heritage towns,” concluded the Secretary of Productivity and Competitiveness of the Government of Antioquia, Rodolfo Correa.

In addition, the Government of Antioquia will develop regional tourism triggering structure in the West, East, and Uraba regions, including pedestrian promenades, bike and bicycle trails.

City Brand

From the state capital, one of the big bets is focused on City brand. “Colombia recalls some brands employed by Medellin, brands we love, but which do not reflect what we are today. It is not possible to sell the city as a destination in the world without a unified image generating remembrance. We would be offering a product without a brand, without identity, “said the Secretary of Economic Development of the Mayor’s office, Maria Fernanda Galeano.

That’s why this year Medellin will have its city brand, a brand that will last for at least ten years, as established by the Mayor of Medellin pursuant to Decree 0162 issued on February 22nd, 2017 which opens a public contest for participation of Universities, Civic Associations, businesses, industrial or commercial entities, or any other that, from its sector, may determine the city brand.

“We need a durable and powerful brand which allows us to reach international markets with more strength. A mark with which people feel identified regardless of changes in government. Long term in destination marketing is a key to success, that’s why we’re betting on the brand.” stated the Tourism Assistant Secretary of the Mayor’s Office of Medellin, Juliana Cardona Quiros.

During the 2017 Anato’s XXXVI Tourism Show to be held in Corferias from March 1st to March 3rd, Medellin and Antioquia will show part of their main attractions for which foreigners look for in this section of the country. In the stand there will be “silleteros” (flower bearers), coffee tastings, traditional cuisine, a typical Antioquian balcony will represent the “paisa” tradition and there will be performances by folk singers and the Folkloric Ballet of Antioquia, amongst other activities.

Press Release
Natalia Angel Henriquez
Head of Press & Public Relations – Bureau of Medellin
(4) 2616060 Ext. 139