Colombia’s high airport tax dampens tourism

Global Business

When it comes to tourism, Colombia lags behind its neighbors in Latin America, and it’s no surprise that it has something to do with the exorbitant fees that airports are charging. However, the government is now rethinking those charges. CCTV America’s Michelle Begue reports.

Colombia’s tourist destination Cartagena and Barranquilla have the most expensive airport tax according to a study that compared 40 airports in 26 different Latin American Countries. It also included the United States. Cartagena’s airport tax is $92 while Miami International Airport is just $13.

The study was conducted by the Colombian Air Transport Association (ATAC). According to the study, Cartagena and Barranquilla were followed by Caracas, Quito, Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro, and Colombia’s Pereira and San Andres airports closed off the top 10 most expensive. ATAC says the costs wouldn’t be seen so negatively if the passengers felt they were getting better service for the costs.

But the high costs seem to not be a deterrent for the millions people traveling in Colombia. In the past decade, the South American nation went from having 10 million passengers to almost 29 million in 2013.

However, tour companies say they do see a change in plans when they inform tourists they can expect to spend $900 on average on three local Colombian flights.

Airports finally seem to be getting the complaint. Starting next year, Cartagena’s Airport will reduce the airport tax by $72. This is decided through a pilot program initiated by the national and municipal government that will attempt to find resources through other means for the year 2015.