Mother Nature Network, (MNN) a website promoting healthier alternatives and a greener lifestyle recently headlined our own Cartagena as the destination of the week.
The article highlights the easy walk-ability of the historic district as well as the healthy, and affordable cuisine of this sea port city. This is just the latest in a series of articles highlighting the historic beauty of this Colombian – Caribbean treasure. Cartagena was also highlighted by Wanderlust magazine as one of their favored destinations earlier this month. The New York Times also featured Cartagena as a newly ‘re-discovered’ destination.
This, along with recent economic developments in the tourism industry are encouraging signs of an economic upswing for Colombia, Cartagena and all of Latin America. Intercontinental Hotels Group is also planning on building several new properties in Colombia – including Bogotá, Barranquilla and Cartagena.
At the same time, Colombia and several nations in Latin America are showing unprecedented growth and strength on the economic markets. The recent rise of the Colombian peso is only one indicator of the future potential of Colombia as a whole.
Recent reforms have also boosted the government’s tax revenues, and led to an increased credit rating from Standard & Poor. (If you remember, they recently downgraded the USA’s own rating.)
Foreign investors are interested in more than historic streets, and the sandy beaches of Santa Marta. Lured by the wealth of natural resources including oil and gas – they are flocking to this new opportunities in this previously overlooked country. Colombia, as the third largest producer of oil in Latin America is currently being courted by Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon and Chevron for their large gas reserves.
While the coffee industry has been hurt by flooding last year – Colombian imports were up more than 17%.
Recent arrests of several leaders of FARC along with successful negotiations and changes in drug enforcement legislation, along with President Juan Manual Santos continued popularity help boost the appeal of Colombia to investors. But – as readers know – finance is not my area of expertise.. So I have asked several financial and economic analysts for their thoughts..