Building the New Colombia: Peace, a $2.3 Billion Infrastructure Investment and Expected Tourist Bonanza (S)
Colombia, the land of oblivion, as the song says, became the land of social, economic and cultural hope in 2016 with the signing of peace with the guerrillas of FARC. The Government of Juan Manuel Santos had not had the time to crank up the advertising machinery to confirm to foreign capital the benefits of his country, and to tourists that insecurity is a thing of the past (and of the Netflix series), when the foreign press did the job. The Economist designated Colombia as the country of the year; Le Monde, labeled it the fourth destination to be discovered in 2017; and, to mention tree examples, the tourism publication Lonely Planet ranked the country seconds as a place to visit.
This year, Procolombia, the tourism promotion agency, expects five million foreign visitors to travel and not only to traditional destinations, specifically the Caribbean coast. The project Colombia más grande (A bigger Colombia) seeks to expand the borders of a country where the war has left millions of victims and seriously weakened the infrastructure. Here not only the enemy was fired upon, but roads and bridges were blown up as part of the war strategy. And fields were mined, turning 52 million square meters (60% of the country) into fenced land. The Government has set 2021 as target to declare the entire national territory free of this type of explosives. El País