The U.S State Department has released its global travel advisory list and as of January 12, 2018, that uses plain language to help U.S. citizens (and others) find and use important security information.
In the latest advisory, Colombia has been up-graded as a Level 2 country, where U.S nationals must still “exercise increased caution,” but are free to visit large areas of the country, formally ranked as “no-go-to” zones.
Colombia joins the list of tourism-friendly destinations.
Level 1 – Exercise Normal Precautions: This is the lowest advisory level for safety and security risk. There is some risk in any international travel. Conditions in other countries may differ from those in the United States and may change at any time.
Level 2 – Exercise Increased Caution: Be aware of heightened risks to safety and security. The Departments of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas in the Travel Advisory. Conditions in any country may change at any time.
Level 3 – Reconsider Travel: Avoid travel due to serious risks to safety and security. The Department of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas in the Travel Advisory.Conditions in any country may change at any time.
Level 4 – Do Not Travel: This is the highest advisory level due to greater likelihood of life-threatening risks. During an emergency, the U.S. government may have very limited ability to provide assistance. The Department of State advises that U.S. citizens not travel to the country or to leave as soon as it is safe to do so. The Department of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas in the Travel Advisory. Conditions in any country may change at any time.
“A Level Two classification is good news,” says Colombia’s Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, María Lorena Gutiérrez, as the country officially leaves the “blacklist the USA recommends not to visit”.
Colombia, for decades had been considered by the U.S. State Deparment as a Level 3.
According to the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism (MinCIT), from 2010 to 2016, the influx of U.S citizens to Colombia grew 40% from 357,460 visitors in 2010 to 498,960 in 2016.
As of November 2017, the number of American tourists to Colombia grew to 469,425.
According to a senior government official, the government continues to resolve the many security challenges
Colombia was highlighted in a January 10 feature in The New York Times and listed second as one of “52 Places to Go in 2018” .
“The New York Times report, as well as many others in the international media, shows how the world is rediscovering Colombia after more than half century of conflict,” reaffirmed Gutierréz.