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Those two ports on the Pacific will be added in 2014 to the list of Colombian cities that can be enjoyed by international travelers during their journeys at sea.
That's what President Juan Manuel Santos had to say during the opening ceremony of the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) annual conference, the most important annual event for this industry. This year, it was held for the first time in the city of Cartagena de Indias.
"We managed to include Solano Bay and Utria, two jewels of our Pacific Coast, in the Silversea line's itinerary with its boat Silver Explorer," the chief of state said to attendees including CEOs of important cruise lines such as Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean Cruises.
These companies are members of the association which was created in 1994 and currently gathers the 15 main cruise lines with operations in the Caribbean, destinations, tour operators and promotion bodies.
In his speech, the Head of State explained that this announcement is the product of "considerable and sustained effort, lead by Proexport, to show (the world) our ports and their advantages for cruise itineraries, while participating in the best fairs of the sector."
We managed to include Solano Bay and Utria, two jewels of our Pacific Coast, in the Silversea line's itinerary with its boat Silver Explorer
For Proexport President Maria Claudia Lacouture, "the inclusion of these ports in Silversea's itinerary is proof of the cruise ship industry's confidence in the country. It is a new step that the country is taking to offer new tourism products to attract more international travelers."
Because of their flora and fauna, Solano Bay and Utria have significant potential for adventure and nature tourism — characteristics which called the attention of this Italian, self-proclaimed luxury line. Among its other destinations, this cruise line also includes Patagonia, the Galapagos and the Antarctic — attractive locations due to their natural wealth.
"The Silver Explorer has a capacity of 132 passengers and 117 crew, including geologists and biologists. After several years working to promote this destination at Proexport, cruise ship passengers will now be able to see the wealth of this region, and experience activities such as whale and birdwatching, and releasing turtles on the beach," stated Lacouture.
Proexport is dedicated to the promotion of international tourism in Colombia. One pillar of its strategy is to position Colombian ports as ideal destinations for cruise ships. Dockings have grown more than 60 percent in the last six years.
One-on-one work with cruise line representatives and its presence at specialized fairs such as Cruise Shipping Miami are some of the tools that Proexport has used to reach its objectives in this sector.
The above are part of the countless experiences blending reality and fantasy which inspired the concept for the "Colombia is Magic Realism" tourism campaign, which has accompanied all of Proexport's tourism promotion activities since last April.