2030 Vision of Colombia tourism

The Tourism and Hotel Business Administration Faculty and the Colombian Hotel and Tourism Association - COTELCO - are conducting a large prospective study aiming to visualize tourism scenarios to 2030 in Colombia, and work to build the “chosen future."

Throughout 2017, the Colombia Hotel and Tourism Association – COTELCO – and the Externado Tourism and Hotel Business Administration, with support from the Business Administration Faculty, have been developing the research project “2030 Vision of Tourism in Colombia.” The objective is to submit to the 2018 Congressional and Presidential candidates a proposal, from a business and academic perspective, containing strategic guidelines for the development of tourism in the country, in the long-run.

To create the proposal, an interdisciplinary group formed by COTELCO members and the Externado Tourism and Society Research Group was established. The work has had support from interns of different postgraduate programs in the field work and review of secondary sources.

The contribution by the Externado Business Administration Faculty allowed the design of a triple perspective methodology: hermeneutics, prospective, and strategic planning.

An interview containing open-end questions to 173 key stakeholders representing the public and private tourism sectors from all regions in Colombia (Caribbean, Central- South, Llanos, Central-East, Coffee Region, and Pacific) was designed to obtain information from the hermeneutic approach. The objective? Determine the diagnostic, predictive, and motivational frameworks at national and regional territorial levels, to learn from the information shared by the different interviewees.

The diagnostic framework identified the major problems and challenges of tourism in Colombia and its regions; the predictive framework, initiatives or solutions to these issues; and, lastly, the motivational framework prioritizes actions or promises made by the actor, representing a lender or a public entity.

The prospective study was headed by Francisco José Mojica, Externado Business Administration Professor, and researcher. The purpose of this methodological approach was identifying the different tourism scenarios in Colombia, looking towards 2030, to point out the most suitable and recognize the strategies that will be necessary to build the chosen future. In this context, the process was based on the prospective strategic model, with the application of three workshops to expert participants who convened close to 40 personalities from the tourism sector in the country. It centered on three stages:

  • Recognition of tourism technological trends and modalities that could be considered relevant to Colombia.
  • Pinpoint the variables that will define the future tourism situation in Colombia.
  • Design of the probable future of Colombian tourism, thirteen years into de future, and other less likely futures allowing to recognize the difficulties this phenomenon could encounter on its road to tomorrow.

Also, it was decided to compare the information contained in both studies with two secondary source analyses. On the one hand, a critical diagnosis was made on how the country is facing the competitiveness, sustainability, and governance approaches. Next, an analysis was performed of the institutional framework and financing of tourism in Colombia, and a benchmarking of how institutional structures and tourism financing operate in countries such as Spain, Mexico, Costa Rica, Chile, and Peru.

Currently, the Externado Faculty, together with COTELCO, continues to develop this strategic planning that will allow positioning Colombia as one of the most competitive and sustainable tourist destinations in the region.