Tourism reopens in Colombia, but has few customers

Tourism reopens in Colombia, but has few customers

Airlines had the highest occupancy. In fact, several of them are going to expand their operations next week.

The first week of reopening of several of the activities most affected by the mandatory quarantine that ended on August 31, namely air and land transport, and tourism and catering, presents a bittersweet balance.

In all cases, the common denominator has been the low number of customers.

Although entrepreneurs in these sectors recognize that they did not expect an avalanche of demand, they guarantee that, although their businesses are not yet profitable, they will continue to work until the point of equilibrium and start the financial recovery.


In intercity transport, the numbers recorded between Tuesday and yesterday indicate that ticket sales were on average between 30% and 40%, although the number of passengers mobilized has a base limit of 50%, which can be extended to 70% or 75 %, when some tickets are issued to members of the same family.


The national hotel occupancy rate was 12% in June. According to Cotelco, 80% of Colombia’s hotels were closed until July, a number that rose to 70% in August, as in some parts of the country there was a reactivation of hotel services, as a result of a government decree.

As for occupation, in states like Antioquia it was 8.3% in August, while in Valle del Cauca it was 8.35%. In the latter state, the preliminary value for the first week of reactivation indicates that the occupancy rate for the first four days of the month is 8.72%. Hoteliers want the reopening of air and land transport to quickly translate into the arrival of guests, especially in cities with greater tourist attraction.


The numbers of passengers mobilized by plane between Tuesday and yesterday also indicate that not all flights were carried out with full capacity. As of yesterday, at 5 pm, 23,537 passengers had been mobilized on 802 flights. For the second week of reactivation, which starts on Monday, airlines plan to add flights. As well as Avianca, Latam and Easyfly, while Viva Air will continue with its 18 routes.

In the case of Avianca, on Monday, flights to Pasto, Santa Marta and Villavicencio de Bogotá will resume, along with the Cali-Medellín and Cartagena-Medellín routes.

Meanwhile, Easyfly will start operating that day between Bogotá-Villavicencio, Villavicencio-Medellín and Barranquilla-Montería. However, for Tuesday he expects the reactivation of the route between Villavicencio and Bucaramanga; and a week later, on September 15, Bucaramanga-Cartagena will return.

The airline Latam will continue to fly from Bogota to Medellín, Cali, Barranquilla, Cartagena and Bucaramanga and will start operations for Letícia and Santa Marta.


Guillermo Henrique Gómez Paris, Executive President of Acodrés, explained that the reopening of restaurants is going very well in some cities. He gave as an example what is happening in Pereira.

He added that in Armenia there was a problem because the government established a curfew and a dry law, which blocked pilots on the move. In Manizales, he said the process was slow, but safe.

Gómez highlighted the Cali case as one of the best reopening models in the country. “The restaurants were enabled, inside and outside their facilities. The service has been massive, permanent, people take care of themselves and everything is going extremely well, ”he said. As for Medellín, he considered that because it is a large city it has limitations.

Although the areas recognized as gastronomic have had sales and movement and they show the most positioned restaurants in the market, the squares and most of the offer that is limited to what in the sector is called office restaurants, face difficulties and their sales are affected by the promotion of teleworking.

With regard to Barranquilla, Acodrés also gives a positive part, started with 30 open points and is already with 90, said Guillermo Gómez, while Bucaramanga is one of the last cities to allow restaurants to open their doors. That will be next Monday, September 7th. Popayán has reopened, in Santa Marta the City Hall is close to authorizing the opening and in San Andrés the restart of activities was not allowed.