Tourism in Colombia

Tourism in Colombia

Colombia recorded a total of one million tourists in 2020, ranking 83rd in the world in absolute terms.

Without including the size of a country, such a ranking list may not be very meaningful. By putting the tourist numbers in relation to the population of Colombia, the result is much more comparable picture: With 0.027 tourists per resident, Colombia ranked 158th in the world. In South America, it ranked 10th.

In 2020, Colombia generated around 1.96 billion US dollars in the tourism sector alone. This corresponds to 0.62 percent of its the gross domestic product and approximately 18 percent of all international tourism receipts in South America.

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Back to overview: Colombia

On average, each of the tourists arriving in 2020 spent about 1,333 US dollars. Conversely, the inhabitants of Colombia spend only around 1,174 dollars a year when they themselves spend vacations abroad.

Tourism in Colombia

Development of the tourism sector in Colombia from 1995 to 2020

The following chart shows the number of tourist arrivals registered in Colombia each year. Anyone who spends at least one night in the country but does not live there for more than 12 months is considered a tourist. Insofar as the survey included the purpose of the trip, business trips and other non-tourism travel purposes have already been excluded. The number of people passing through within the same day, and e.g., crew members of ships or flights are also not considered tourists in most countries. If the same person travels in and out more than once within the same year, each visit counts again.

Data in the chart are given in millions of tourists. The red line represents the average of all 12 countries in South America.

Tourists per year in Colombia

Revenues from tourism

In 1995, tourism revenues amounted to 887.00 million USD, or about 0.96 percent of the gross national product. This corresponded to about 1.43 million tourists at that time and roughly 619 USD per person. Within 25 years, the country's dependence on tourism has increased drastically. Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, sales were $6.78 billion billion, 2.1 percent of gross national product. Thus, each visitor spent an average of $1,497 on their vacation in Colombia.

In 2020, tourist receipts plummeted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the $6.78 billion billion (2019), only $1.96 billion billion remained. This is a 71 percent decrease in Colombia.

Tourism receipts in Colombia per year

All data for Colombia in detail

YearNumber of touristsReceipts% of GNPReceipts per tourist
20201.40 m1.96 bn $0.72 %1,403 $
20194.53 m6.78 bn $2.1 %1,497 $
20184.40 m6.66 bn $2.0 %1,514 $
20174.06 m5.90 bn $1.9 %1,454 $
20163.68 m5.63 bn $2.0 %1,532 $
20153.37 m5.28 bn $1.8 %1,567 $
20142.87 m4.94 bn $1.3 %1,724 $
20132.60 m4.82 bn $1.3 %1,857 $
20122.43 m4.41 bn $1.2 %1,811 $
20112.36 m3.84 bn $1.1 %1,630 $
20101.70 m3.47 bn $1.2 %2,042 $
20092.65 m3.08 bn $1.3 %1,163 $
20082.55 m2.97 bn $1.2 %1,165 $
20072.38 m2.62 bn $1.3 %1,099 $
20062.10 m2.37 bn $1.5 %1,131 $
2005981,0001.89 bn $1.3 %1,928 $
2004840,0001.54 bn $1.3 %1,827 $
2003668,0001.19 bn $1.3 %1,783 $
2002661,0001.24 bn $1.3 %1,871 $
2001788,0001.48 bn $1.5 %1,882 $
2000707,0001.31 bn $1.3 %1,857 $
1999725,0001.23 bn $1.4 %1,698 $
1998823,0001.22 bn $1.2 %1,478 $
1997758,0001.32 bn $1.2 %1,735 $
1996751,0001.36 bn $1.4 %1,814 $
19951.43 m887.00 m $0.96 %619 $

Our data on tourist numbers, revenues and expenditures are based on information from the World Tourism Organization. However, to ensure international comparability, the data for some years or countries were manually researched and corrected if they obviously included visitors without overnight stays. In these cases, the data were taken from the official communications of the respective national tourism authorities.

The World Tourism Organization additionally points out that in some countries, the number of tourists is only counted at airports, while in others they are also counted at border crossings or even hotels. A comprehensive and reliable indication is therefore hardly possible in any country.

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