The Department of State of the United States renewed the “travel adisory” for Colombia, keeping the country remained at level 2 (“Traveling with precautions”) that also obtained last year, which is positive if you consider that it does Some years I was at level 4 (“Do not travel”)
Bogotá, April 12, 2019m (AmCham Colombia) -. The US Department of State has updated its Travel Advisory system for 2019, whereby it warns its citizens of the existing conditions to visit abroad. Colombia maintained level 2 (“Travel with greater precautions”), which it had obtained in 2018, with which only certain areas of the country are restricted, while for the rest of the regions it is simply suggested to take some precautions.
According to the executive director of the Colombian-American Chamber of Commerce, AmCham Colombia, María Claudia Lacouture, this keeps the substantial improvement that was achieved thanks to the country’s progress in recent years in terms of security and the best compared image. with that of several years ago. “That level implies just taking some precautions when traveling, if we look at other countries, we are in the same category are France and Britain,” he explained.
Lacouture added that, less than a decade ago, the Travel Advisory asked US travelers to avoid visiting any region of Colombia, because for them the entire territory represented serious danger. Even, until seven years ago these alerts suggested limiting stays in cities, staying in groups and not taking taxis in the street because they could be assaulted, beaten or even kidnapped.
“As a country we are no longer on the red list and, although reservations are maintained in some regions, Colombia lives a new story, we are an attractive destination for tourists from all over the world, especially for Americans who are the ones who visit us the most” said Lacouture.
While in 2010 2.6 million visitors arrived in our country, in 2018 they were more than 4.2 million, according to the MinCIT, and the United States established itself as the main issuer of tourists to Colombia, sending 646,296 travelers, 22% more than In 2017, which represents 28% of the total number of foreigners who arrived in the country.
What changed in the current report with respect to the previous one?
Since 2018, the State Department has adopted a new four-level classification format, which begins with Level 1, which is “Take normal precautions”; Level 2 follows: “Take greater precautions”, then Level 3: “Reconsider the decision to travel” and, finally, Level 4 which recommends “Do not travel”.
These categories include letters that identify the types of risks, for example, Colombia had: C for Crime and T for terrorism. With the new update, a new category of “risk for kidnapping” was created with the letter K, which was added to the report on Colombia. It should be noted that these risks apply especially to departments that are in category 3 and 4.
Currently, there are only five Colombian departments indicated with the recommendation not to visit (Level 4): Arauca, Cauca (except Popayán), Chocó (except Nuquí), Nariño and Norte de Santander (except Cúcuta); where the United States warns of the presence of terrorist groups, crime and homicides.
Regarding the areas classified in category 3: “Reconsider the decision to travel”, there are Antioquia (except Medellín), Caquetá, Casanare, Cesar (except Valledupar), Córdoba (except Montería), Guanía, Guaviare, Meta, Nariño, Putumayo, Valle del Cauca (except Cali and Palmira), Vaupés and Vichada, also for reasons of violence.