Considering the perception of Colombia as a potentially unsafe destination, this could be considered a high-risk maneuver. The statistics, however, tell a different story. In 2010 Colombia welcomed nearly 1,350, 000 visitors, with the European and US market making up roughly 40% of the total. These numbers are expected to increase significantly in 2011.
This rise in Colombia's travel popularity as a tourist destination relates to the country's lack of exploration in the past. Owing to this, Colombia retains its authenticity and is probably one of the last remaining paradisiacal destinations in Latin America. The aim of See Colombia Travel is to encourage and nurture this sense of authenticity while still ensuring the safety and comfort of travelers.
In order to accomplish this, See Colombia Travel has chosen to appoint well-known Colombia Travel Advisor expert and travel blogger, Marcela Mariscal. After 10 years of working in the UK as a destination advisor for South America, Mariscal returned to Colombia, driven by a great business opportunity and the chance to establish her beloved home-country as a world-class travel destination.
“Colombia’s touristic infrastructure is finally getting ready to fulfill the needs of foreign independent travelers” says Mariscal. “We are in a privileged moment of Colombian culture and history wherein we are still an exotic and new destination to discover, but at the same time we are getting up-to-date in providing world class standard services. And all this while retaining that true sense of Colombia's heart”.
Mariscal insists that although Colombia is popular as a backpacker destination, now is the time to offer travelers a higher level of customer care. "There will always be backpackers paving the way, but we're aiming to establish Colombia as a sophisticated destination with fully-customizable, safe and professional tours".
Drawing upon her experience as an international travel advisor for Latin America, Mariscal suggests that the image of Colombia has improved tremendously in the last few years, but that there’s also still much to do. “The first steps of spreading the word about Colombia as a perfectly safe and undiscovered destination had already been taken thanks to an extraordinary campaign by ProExport, Colombia’s office for tourism." Indeed, ProExport have been responsible for much of Colombia's publicity in the US, including the memorable "The Only Risk Is Wanting To Stay" campaign. Mariscal, however, believes now the responsibility has to shift. "Now it's up to us Colombia travel industry professionals, not only to reinforce their message, but to responsibly work alongside service providers to ensure that we deliver an unforgettable experience. We know we have one of the most amazing destinations in the world, now we have to match that with a service level that does it justice.”
All See Colombia Tours depart 365 days a year and are 100% customizable, offering travelers a wide range of Colombia destination and activities. Traveler's preferences, of course, vary wildly, and it’s the belief of See Colombia Travel that Colombia, and their company, can cater to every taste. Mariscal explains: "We know people are different, some want to spend more time on beaches such as those near Cartagena, some want to spend time soaking up the culture in a city like Bogota, some will want to wander the old, historic streets of Villa de Leyva and some will seek out a Colombian coffee tour to get to the heart of Colombia's most famous export."
She's right, and Colombia also offers great adventure vacations, and the See Colombia Tours can provide trekking, horse-riding, rafting, cycling and, Mariscal confirms, much, much more. "There's really very few limits to what you can do, and that's why we're keen for the word to spread about Colombia with their tours and activities."
These aren't the only reasons for an expected boom in tourism. Colombia is one of the most eco-aware countries in the world. See Colombia Travel have followed suit. “We are aware of the fact that Colombia’s incoming tourism process has to be done in a way that's sensitive to the environment. For example, Bogotá River in Colombia’s capital has for decades been one of the most polluted rivers in the world, representing a serious health hazard to vulnerable communities that live at its shores, and also becoming a growing ecological menace,” Mariscal states, passionately. Through Fundacion Rio Urbano, a Waterkeepers International member, See Colombia Travel helps to create awareness and develop policies to change this situation. A percentage of their profit in every package goes to support this effort.
About See Colombia Travel
See Colombia Travel (seecolombia.travel) are a team of world-wide travel experts with a passion for Colombia, committed to creating customizable tours to an international standard throughout Colombia's astonishing destinations.