The most popular tourist destinations in Colombia are often bustling year round with couples, families and business partners. But circumstances have been atypical this year, and Colombia has been largely closed to travelers.
According to database Statista, the hotel occupancy rate in Colombia in March 2019 was 64.9%, compared to 14.9% in March 2020 after the country halted nearly all international flights. According to the Hotel and Tourism Association of Colombia, the hospitality industry has lost about $1.2 billion in revenue during the pandemic.
Though the Colombian government finally authorized reopening its borders to nonnative visitors, the country’s tourism and entertainment sector will reportedly struggle to make up for lost time and foot traffic.
Colombia’s leading beer brand, Corona, a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev, launched the first travel platform in the country. “Paradise Advisor” supports sustainable tourism to get the world back in Colombia and outdoors in its many social distance-friendly parks and historical sites.
“For Corona Colombia it is a fundamental issue to innovate and adapt to this new normality, help to reactivate the economy of the hotel sector and give support to all people that daily work on it,” said Diego Pomareda, director of Corona in Colombia, in a statement.
The campaign was created by the internal Corona Colombia marketing team in partnership with creative agencies and communications firms, including Leo Burnett Colombia, Draftline Colombia, Dattis, SEC Newgate Colombia and Zenith Colombia.
As part of the first phase of the initiative, Corona prepurchased 500 free hosting packages for different eco-friendly Colombian hotels to further ensure that tourists are reconnected with the country. Of these 500 prepurchased rooms, 400 will be given away as part of travel packages through social promotions, while the other 100 will be utilized to generate content that promotes education around sustainable tourism.
“With this new OTA platform we seek to give a greater visibility and reputation to these places that promote the efficient use of natural resources and the support to local communities through practices and innovations aimed at the sustainable economy of the region,” Pomareda continued in the statement.
All of the efforts related to the campaign will also complement other initiatives to stimulate local tourism and outdoor experiences, such as the relaunch of the Corona SunSets music festival franchise.
“By launching this platform, our hope is that after several months of staying at home, Colombians will revisit paradise in a respectful way, while providing some financial relief to an industry that is connected to us and that has seen so much impact in recent months,” said Pomareda in the statement.
The U.S. Department of State still has a Level 4 advisory in place for Colombia due to Covid-19 and ongoing violence between domestic terrorist organizations and rival guerrilla factions. Additionally, as risk for Covid-19 remains high in Colombia, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a Level 3 warning in place for the country, advising that nonessential travel be avoided.
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