Cartagena does not know about the crisis

· Culture, Economics, Society, Violence

It is near to reach a historical season

By Vicente Arcieri and Juan Carlos Díaz / Correspondents of  EL TIEMPO – Cartagena, published in / Translation by Albeiro Rodas, Colombia Passport

Colombian and foreigners tourists walk by its streets, fill its beaches and spend everywhere.

The turbulence of the economical recession still not touch the coasts of Cartagena, where a wave of tourists enjoy the city at ease. Even it seems that the activity did not to stop after the holidays.

Mónica Fadul, president of Fenalco in the State of Bolívar, believes that this time will be remembered as one of the best. Her colleague of the Tourist Corporation of Cartagena de Indias, María de los Ángeles Barraza, attributes the success to the devaluation of the Peso (the Colombian currency.)

She says that it attracted many families that preferred not to make plans in Miami or Panama, as it happened when the currency change was between 1.600 and 1.800 pesos per dollar. According to her, it has happened also due to the variety of events, as the Festival of Music and art crafts.

Record numbers

The quantity of tourists is so high that those who rent apartments have gained a big profit, a particularity that makes the owners of hotels worry.

These days, dozens of visitors walk through the historical city, strolling in carriages, buying and attesting restaurants and beaches.

In the pier of La Bodeguita, where the boats leave to the Rosario islands and Barú, it is said that 54 thousand persons passed between 15th December and 7th January, a record number.

The numbers given by the Airport Society of Cartagena show that in December arrived to the city 56,783 national passengers by air that means 3.4 % more than what it was in December 2007.

The arriving of foreigners was also big. In December arrived 11,388, more than in the same month of 2007 with 8,817. The arriving of visitors by land to the city increased also with the arriving of 332,359 passengers.

In 2007 the total of visitors were 267,407. Therefore, the Corporation of Tourism concluded that the numbers increased 10% in January.

So far, the view of the city is of tourists that enjoy at ease and expend without remember that this will be the year of the lean.

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