PARAMARIBO, Suriname – Insel Air now offers Surinamese travellers flights to the city of Medellin in Colombia twice a week (Tuesdays and Fridays) connecting through Curacao.
On October 30, 2012, Proexport and Insel Air representatives put on a presentation in Suriname in which travel agencies and their representatives had the opportunity to take a firsthand look at what Colombia has to offer in terms of vacation destinations, technology, infrastructure and health services at clinics and hospitals.
Within 30 days of the presentation in Suriname, the first group of 27 tourists travelled to the city of Medellin for a five-day vacation provided by the travel agency Papayote Travel. The purpose of this trip was to raise awareness about Colombia as a tourist destination, with many wonderful experiences and beautiful cities waiting to be visited.
Travel agent Aniel Bhaggan from Satyam Holidays, a travel agency based in Curacao noted, “Initially we had planned to travel to Brazil but once I saw the presentation from Proexport representatives it was a no brainer. I spoke immediately with my clients and came to the agreement we would visit the city of Medellin instead.”
In 2012, Proexport, the government agency in charge of promoting international tourism, exports and foreign investment in Colombia, along with Insel Air came to an agreement to sponsor Colombia as a world class tourism and health destination in Suriname.
Medellin -- “The city of eternal spring” -- is Colombia's second largest city and said to be one of the most beautiful cities in all of South America. There is plenty to do and see in this wonderful and vibrant place that remains true to its regional characteristics with its beautiful and stunning natural scenery.
Medellin offers a beautiful culture filled with tradition, exquisite cuisine and vibrant nightlife. The visitors enjoyed the hospitality and the warmth of the “Antioqueños” as they are known in that region. They also had the opportunity to learn why clinics and hospitals in Colombia and Medellin are ranked amongst the best 40 in Latin America.
“Colombia is one of the best countries in Latin America and we definitively plan on coming back. Everyone loved the weather, the food, shopping malls, everything about it. It’s a surprisingly clean country. The service offered in their hospitals and clinics was excellent, it truly is world class. Overall it was an amazing experience that surpassed everyone’s expectations,” said Bhaggan.
During their stay in Colombia, the tourists had the opportunity to be involved in activities such as sightseeing the beautiful landscapes, visiting museums, hiking, horseback riding, boating and food tasting from traditional restaurants.
It seems the future is bright for the newly established relationship between Suriname and Colombia as many travel agencies from the CARICOM country have already been in contact with tour operators from Medellin and health service representatives.
For the upcoming 2013, Oficom Caribe and Insel Air have developed a strategy to work closely in the market and offer support to travel agencies from Suriname that are interested in creating vacations packages to visit and enjoy the unforgettable experience Colombia has to offer.