April 22, 2021
Foreign Trade

Chile strengthens tourism alliance with Colombia and participates in virtual business meeting

Chile strengthens tourism alliance with Colombia and participates in virtual business meeting
Colombia is a very attractive market for the export of Chilean goods and services. According to International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates, exceptionally strong growth is forecast for 2021 of between 5 and 6%, one of the highest in the region.

The Colombian market offers high growth potential and an interesting level of development, and faces challenges in meeting its internal demand and accessing international markets. For all of these reasons, Chilean companies can serve as strategic allies with their goods and services.

In view of this, starting today and through Friday, April 23, a virtual business roundtable series is being held between Chile and Colombia. This initiative, called Business E-ncounter, is designed to strengthen bilateral trade of the countries’ exportable offerings and includes tourism as a key economic activity for the first time.

The opening day of the event, which was organized by ProChile, featured the participation of Andrea Wolleter, National Director of Chile’s National Tourism Service, Sernatur. She highlighted the importance of the Colombian market for our country given that Chile has positioned itself as a destination with major tourist attractions, especially natural ones.

In this context, the tourism official stated, “We want to be on the minds of Colombian travelers. We have systematically focused on this market over the past few years with very good results. We saw a 148% increase in the number of tourist arrivals from Colombia between 2014 and 2019 alone.”

Andrea Wolleter added that, “This increase in numbers is due to a great extent to the penetration and capacity of our airlines, which lowered their prices, generating an increase in supply. The challenge will be to achieve this again once we bring about the recovery of the sector when the two countries’ health conditions improve and we can resume activities.”

Virtual business roundtables for Chile and Colombia

The Chile-Colombia Business E-ncounter is the main activity that ProChile will organize in this market. The entity hopes to make it a space for promoting and more strongly positioning the offer of Chilean goods and services for Colombian buyers.

ProChile’s Colombia Sales Director, Marcela Aravena, explains, “If we are interested in strengthening commercial relations between Chile and Colombia, tourism must be part of our work. It is an important element, particularly for our countries’ economic reactivation. Movement from Chile to Colombia has increased in recent years. This is also reflected in connectivity, as Colombian business owners and tourists can connect with our country more easily. We hope to see this flow stabilize very soon.”

The virtual meeting, which will run through Friday, April 23, includes business roundtables and activities such as pitches for Chilean technology businesses (fintech, healthtech and agtech), seminars on e-commerce, innovation, indigenous peoples and tourism, and Instagram Live events to promote Chilean food products in Colombia.

Over the course of this week, Chilean export companies and those with the potential to export will learn about the Colombian market and meet with key Colombian buyers so that they can increase and diversify their exports to this important economy in the region.

A total of 44 business owners will represent Chile, including national and regional tour operators, tourism product agents and representatives of the four airlines that service this route: Avianca, Latam, JetSMART and soon SKY Airlines. They will have the opportunity to meet with their Colombian counterparts to open opportunities in Colombia or strengthen partnerships with local stakeholders, especially as part of efforts to restore tourism activity.

For more information about the Chile-Colombia Business E-ncounter, visit www.prochile.gob.cl/difusion/varios/encuentro-colombia/index.html.