Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos hailed the decision, saying that this move will further open up tourism in the Caribbean, and expressing his hope that more cruises may visit Santa Marta and other parts of the country.
“I hope that as Royal Caribbean wants to come here to Santa Marta, we can also show these Asian tourists all the beauty of the Caribbean coast, Santa Marta, Cartagena, and the rest of the country because tourism is what generates employment and prosperity for us.”
Colombia has been working to significantly expand international tourism in the country, as one way to provide more economic opportunity to citizens.
China has also shown interest in sending tourists to the Caribbean coast of Colombia, but Asian tourists currently make up a small fraction of tourism to the Colombian Caribbean coast.
International tourism has increased nearly 9% in Cartagena in the last year, and is expected to continue to grow.