Travel Agent recently chatted with Claudia Davila, director of tourism for of ProExport Colombia, which serves as Colombia’s tourist board, and learned of the destination’s plan to become more active in the all-inclusive market as well as plans to scrap the destination’s current advertising campaign beginning in December.
Cartagena will soon be home to the destination’s first internationally branded all-inclusive hotel in the form of the Iberostar Cartagena, which is expected to open its doors in January of 2014. And the all-inclusive growth will not stop there, Davila says.
“That's something we are definitely lacking in right now,” she says of the all-inclusive product. “We don't have that many all-inclusives, but it's an area that we know we really need to grow if we want to compete with places like Mexico, where people go to enjoy those type of resorts.”
Davila says there are rumors to bring in another major all-inclusive chain, but she declined going on the record with the name.
“To be honest, we basically just want to see how it goes before we go forward with any other plans,” Davila says. “We will see how Iberostar is received and then we will see, but we are definitely looking at bringing more all-inclusives to Colombia.”
But one thing you won’t see in Colombia after December is it’s longstanding ad campaign, “The Only Risk is Not Wanting to Leave,” a tagline that was often praised throughout the industry for tackling Colombia’s then safety issue head on.
“It was great for us when that was an issue,” she says. “But we don’t think safety is an issue in Colombia anymore and we don’t think visitors are that concerned about whether Colombia is safe or not. I think most people know by now that safety is not an issue for tourists anymore.”
Insetad, ProExport will be launching a new campaign with the tagline, “The Answer is Colombia,” in January.
“We just really thought we needed to move forward,” she says.