The reason to be of our business Cartagena de Indias

April 5 2009. By living in Cartagena and being a stranger from Canada, difficult situations to understand have constantly appeared in relations with Colombians working in the touristic domain. The lack of will in wanting to understand other points of vu takes place in a large challenge with people in the touristic domain of Cartagena or more precisely, people searching to profit of tourists.



Therefore I’ve observed evident facts that even Colombians can’t see because of their unconscious habits that they don’t have the intention to see or modify for their greatest good:

The evident facts:
- There’s hundreds of thousands of visitors per year arriving in Cartagena in the frame of their vacations, work, studies or other interests. 80% from Colombia, 15% from other Latin countries and 5% of strangers who don’t speak Spanish.

- In the years 90, a large number of north-America and European strangers came to Cartagena for their vacations, but since that, few came here because of interne problems that made them flee. These problems were: harassing sellers, beggars searching to extract money by making tourists feel guilty with pity, a poor communication in other languages, fake prices to profit better from them, numerous policemen in touristic zones who brought doubt on their security, numerous beggars, news about Colombia concerning violence, human rights, drug and corruption. To this day, the same problems are still there, but strangers, didn’t return!

- Visitors coming from Colombia have financial habits that don’t allow them or don’t want to spend and therefore don’t circulate more money, which is the base of all prospect economy. Therefore, having 90% of tourists who don’t spend much and don’t tip, is creating an illusion to service suppliers and touristic products.

- Today, Cartagena and Colombia try’s to bring more stranger tourists, but it’s not by showing videos or images of natural beauties that’s going to influence people, because they perfectly know that publicity made in that way is not honest in trying to cheat them… because what counts, is to show the truth concerning their problem resolution and not to flee them with illusions and lies. By consequence, Cartagena is stuck in receiving tourists almost all coming from Colombia if concrete actions aren’t started in creating a confidence and secure climate. More, stats aren’t valuable information because they can be manipulated by those who have the interest in hiding the facts… but since I’ve lived in Cartagena for many years, then I clearly see what’s happening.

- No publicity is offered to stranger countries to promote Cartagena and Colombia while other countries such as Mexico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Brazil and USA invest in television publicity messages in these countries to inform people to choose their vacations with them. Therefore, their touristic offices are in action instead of talking about making actions… which is a habit of waiting and do nothing.

- The lack of will from people, which are responsible of tourism and politics, to accept facts as they are, preventing them in acting with enthusiasm and discernment creating then a lack of initiative in all activity and relation domains. The actors in tourism in Colombia have habits in not making action plans to arrive at their measurable objectives and therefore make them responsible.



Claude Lasanté,

Author and founder