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Colombia’s tourist services are within reach of those travelers who “stay connected” through four mobile apps that allow everything from planning trips or choosing a unique experience to receiving continuous online support.
Colombia.Travel, Welcome to Colombia, Buceo Colombia, and Meetings Colombia are apps designed to promote the country’s attractions among travel and technology aficionados helping them make the best decisions regarding travel and lodging arrangements for thousands of tourists visiting Colombian destinations every year.
The first app out of the four was Colombia.Travel, developed by Proexport Colombia. It includes detailed information about the 26 products (nature, adventure, culture, etc.), and sub-products (shopping, birdwatching, etc.) comprising the regions’ portfolio.
The app is available for download free from the App Store, Google Play for Android smart phones, and Blackberry’s App World. It also includes a directory with approximately 2,100 tourism service providers, restaurants, and hotels available for inquiries and/or reservations. The app also provides foreign travelers with geolocation services where they’ll find more than 350 points of interest (e.g., museums, currency agencies, embassies, consulates, etc.), mapping out user-friendly routes.
Each item includes eye-catching photographs to enhance the user experience. More than 36,217 users from Asia, the Americas, and Europe have downloaded the Colombia.Travel app since February 2013 to date.
Welcome to Colombia is an app designed for people who need more than just information but assistance before and during their stay. Welcome to Colombia was created by Assist Card’s subsidiary in the country, with the support of the Colombian Association of Tourism and Travel Agencies (Asociacion Colombiana de Agencias de Viaje y Turismo, ANATO) and Proexport Colombia.
This app has a 24/7 chat service and provides travelers with custom support by qualified personnel in a wide range of fields, including: transportation arrangements, lost & found items, and shows tickets.
Smart phone users can register and receive medical coverage free of charge for three days, with the option to extend the service within the Colombian territory subject to applicable fees.
The app is available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, featuring exceptional tools for foreign users, like currency converter, dictionary, and weather forecast.
"Surveys show that more and more users in the world are turning to new technologies to search and find their next holiday destination; that’s why national tourism products and services must be readily available to people that are looking forward to living unique experiences like those exclusively found in the Colombia is Magical Realism program,” stated the President of Proexport Colombia, Maria Claudia Lacouture.
As part of its digital strategy, Proexport Colombia, the office in charge of promoting Colombia as a tourism destination, included niche tourists, namely underwater exploration fanatics and meetings or corporate tourists.
With this in mind, Proexport Colombia designed Buceo Colombia, a specialized app that gives both amateur and professional divers the ability to plan their trips following advanced search results including criteria like season, schools, and locations (purpose, depth, current type, etc.)
This app can be downloaded for free and it includes information and Google Maps geolocation for 16 destinations, 70 diving spots, and 18 certified diving operators across the country. It also has contact information including phone numbers, addresses, e-mails, and websites.
This innovative system was launched during the 2014 PADI DIVE Festival in Brazil, giving users the chance to share their trip schedules and photographs through social media like Facebook and Twitter.
Meetings Colombia was designed respectively to help event organizers and companies around the world find the perfect city, hotel and hall to host their congresses and conventions in Colombia.
With this app, Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing and Exhibitions (MICE) professionals will have access to information about event infrastructure (convention centers, hotels with halls, non-traditional venues), lodging, and connectivity at the available destinations in this segment.
It also includes a list of approximately 55 tour operators and airlines in Colombia that provide organization, management, and logistics services for international events (like the 139 events that earned Colombia the 28th spot at the 2013 International Congress and Convention Association ranking.)
"During nearly two months in operation, a thousand users have enjoyed these apps and learned about the wide range of products and magical experiences waiting for international tourists in Colombia," concluded Lacouture.