Colombian Association of Travel and Tourism Agencies

ANATO - ANATO Leads Immediate Proposals And Actions To Favor In The Travel And Tourism Industry

The aggression of travel agencies is one of the key players in the national tourism sector and organizes one of the most important tourism samples in the region.

ANATO is the leading, transcendent and management capacity guild, where day by day work is being carried out for the realization of actions aimed at continuing Travel Agencies to be the business fabric of the country and of Colombian tourism. Belonging to ANATO is a Seal of Guarantee for buyers of tourist services. When acquiring their trips in an Associated Agency they have the security that they do in legally constituted establishments, which comply with all the standards, generating confidence, tranquility and above all, security with quality standards so that leisure or business trips are a complete success. ANATO aggregates more than 780 Travel and Tourism Agencies, Operators, Wholesalers, Professional Event and Convention Congress Operators and Tourist Representation Offices, which constitute approximately 70% of the subsector's operating revenues.

ANATO is a non-profit and union organization that represents, defends and promotes the general interests of tourism and Travel Agencies in Colombia. Technological innovation, the spotlight at ANATO

ANATO is a platform to position your brand, promote new products, establish the best commercial relationships and consolidate existing ones. It is the best opportunity to find, in one place, the offer of tourism goods and services from countries and all regions of Colombia, so that the professional visitors will market them in the tourist market. One of its main goals is to promote new products and establish new business opportunities and connections between all the exhibitors and attendees. Under its tempting claim “Colombia open to the world”, around 15,000 professionals from more than 35 countries will be there offering and demanding innovative tourism goods and services, which creates the perfect landscape for build and strengthen negotiations. Colombia’s largest travel and tourism trade show at the Corferias exhibitions grounds in Bogotá with some 5,000 industry professionals from Colombia and around the world. Organized by the Association of Colombian Travel Agencies and Operators (ANATO), this three-day fair showcases the country’s 32 departments, as well as airlines, hotels and cruise operators represented in the country.

The Colombian Association of Travel and Tourism Agencies- ANATO is a non-profit and trade association entity that represents, defends and promotes the general interests of tourism and Travel Agencies in Colombia. Created on October 20, 1949, it is made up of Associated Agencies throughout the national territory with 9 representation chapters, consolidating the sector as the broader national recognition for their development. The AsociaciónColombiana de Agencias de Viajes y Turismo – ANATO which has been consolidated as the most important event of tourism in Colombia since 1982. One of the main goals is to promote the work of the Travel Agencies in the country. The first version was made in Popayán with the participation of 20 exhibitors and year after year has been established as the most important place for sellers and buyers of tourism products and services in cities like Manizales, Cúcuta, Medellín, and San Andrés Island.

How did you participate in the event of Anato ?

The event that took place in the city of Bogotá last March; allowed me to meet and share with the leading exponents of the tourism sector in Latin America, Spain, and the United States. The latter being the guest of honor. More than 600 travel agents and businessmen from the sector will attend the event organized by the Colombian Association of travel and tourism agencies (ANATO). The conferences will revolve around the role of the travel agent and analyze all the news regarding the business environment, institutional regulations, technology or promotion of the Colombian countryside. The event featured a number of elaborate displays from countries around the world as well as the different regions of Colombia. Many of the booths were built to encapsulate particular features of each territory, for example, carnival dancers from Barranquilla, jungle imagery at the Putumayo stand, and the brightly colored fabrics, tapestries, and hammocks from Mexico and Guatemala. Overall, the event was well attended with over 34,000 guests making the trek to Corferias, and boasting a 20% increase in the number of tourism professionals participating.

Among many achievements, it has been ANATO who diligently led the interests of Travel Agents, managing resolutions, decrees, and laws, which have supported the management and income of all Associates. Actions are taken jointly with the Government and suppliers, a reference framework in the world sector to offer stability and avoid imbalances. From ANATO, work has been carried out jointly with the Government in the promulgation of laws as important as the modification of Law 300 and the diversification of the period of school vacations, with Decree 1373 issued by the Ministry of National Education, among others. Since the beginning of the millennium, the Travel Agencies sector has been tracing its future. For this, there are diverse channels that range from diversification in some cases, specialization in others, technology applied efficiently to customer service, business integration, training as a fundamental axis, internationalization and marketing. After oil and coal, tourism is in a privileged position. The different tools that direct it, its infrastructure, investments, technology, and revaluation are an opportunity that should not be missed and for this reason in ANATO strategies are being channeled that will make the sector become one of the most dynamic, in the engine of economic development of the country.

Anato is an independent technology services company offering support, installation and consultancy services to businesses

What started 70 years ago in Bogotá, as a small Association formed by four Travel Agents with a futuristic vision, has consolidated over the years in one of the strongest unions in the tourism sector. Today ANATO has more than 785 Associated Agencies from all departments of the country, including principal, branches, and administrations, working for the profession and the final consumer. ANATO has 9 Chapters that extensively cover the Colombian territory through which actions are undertaken for the successful development of the sector in the face of changes and transformations in the world of travel. The Association since its inception has been motivating and providing information, tools, and means for its Associates to make the changes that are required to successfully face the future. They have worked for years in the training and professionalism of the sector, through various methods and actions, which has brought excellent advances in all these issues. From ANATO, the organization of business management groups has been promoted, currently counting on the successful operation in the country, including Over, L'alianXa, Travel Group and Total Tourism, model schemes in Latin America for entrepreneurship and organization.

In addition to the support and representation of what constitutes the oldest tourist guild in Colombia, and knowledge of the sector after 70 years of experience, being an ANATO Associate offers multiple guarantees and benefits:

  • Obtaining the ANATO Certificate, which differentiates it from other tourism service providers.
  • Since 1949 the Association has been working on the defense and representation of our Associates and the sector in general before the National Government.
  • It has a presence throughout the country through 8 regional Chapters and a specialized one, which allows a greater vision of the needs of the sector throughout Colombia.
  • Special incentives to participate in the most important events in the sector, such as the ANATO Tourist Showcase, the National Congress of Travel Agencies, fam trips, business conferences, among others.
  • Access to training on important topics for the sector. Mostly exclusive for Associates and free, with national coverage through live webcast.
  • We support outbound and inbound tourism through the participation of Agencies in business conferences, trade missions, and national and international fairs.
  • Access and participation in external consulting activities for quality certification in the Sector Technical Standards: tourism sustainability, sports, and adventure, customer service, reservations, packaging, among others.
  • We have strategic alliances with public and private entities that result in benefits for our Associates. Some of them are State Insurance, Pinbus, Datacrédito, Solidarity Insurance, Corpbanca, among others.
  • With documents such as Presidential Letters and Internal Circulars, we keep our Associates informed and updated on issues such as laws, decrees, policies and tourism security; Likewise, primers are designed for their understanding and application in their companies.
  • The Associates have a private section on the website where each Travel Agency will have a username and password to access exclusive information, documents and services.
  • Our external and internal communications strategies allow permanent access to news from the Colombian and world sector and information from the media relevant to Travel Agents.
  • The Associate is benefited by advertising campaigns that aim to show travelers about the advantages of buying through a Travel Agency.
  • Free access to the platform which constitutes a tool for dissemination and promotion of the receptive and emissive tourist services of the Travel Agencies that are part of ANATO.
  • Being part of ANATO allows you to use the services of the Employment Management and Placement Agency we have, in which there are resumes of professionals and technicians that can be hired by your company.

The Ministry's main areas of work in tourism

The development of the tourism sector for the Ministry focuses on three main areas: infrastructure, connectivity, and formalization.

Infrastructure: This is an unrecognized fact, but the Santos government has invested more than 522,705 million pesos in the whole territory, for more than 158 projects. One of the most ambitious investments in the region. The resources are nevertheless limited and for this reason, the investment is directed towards the projects already committed to ensuring their finalization.

Connectivity: The major challenge for the ministry is to improve the connectivity of the country, whether locally or internationally. Internationally, Colombia receives direct flights from more than 27 countries. This figure needs to be improved. At the national level, the goal is to create 6 new connections by 2020.

Formalization: The Ministry has worked deeply on the issue and will continue its efforts, as formalization is the cornerstone of the sector. Between 2010 and 2016, there was an increase of more than 76% in the formalization of the actors, but this is not enough. To counter the lack of information suffered by entrepreneurs, the Ministry is putting in place training and information tools to move towards full formalization.

“The ANATO Tourist Showcase is not only an event in which commercial contacts are made, but it is also the place of good news. They are pleased to know that these types of meetings are being carried out, whose main objective is always the progress of our sector. 'Colombia Flies', for better connectivity of Colombia' is the opportunity to know what the needs of our territory are and to know how to cover them,” said Paula Cortés Calle, executive president of ANATO. Investments, hotels, flights, destinations and new routes for bird watching. "Anato is not only an event in which business contacts are made, but it is also the place of good news," said Paula Cortés Calle, executive president of the Colombian Association of Travel and Tourism Agencies. “Of the total number of foreign tourists that visit our province every year, approximately 3% are Colombians, which places Colombia in the tenth place of that ranking, thus representing a market with great growth potential. They have the firm objective to double that figure in the short term with the different actions raised during Anato with the trade,” said the Director.

The event will be attended by around 300 Colombian exporters and more than 230 international buyers from 34 countries. The most robust international delegation is the United States with 42 entrepreneurs, followed by Brazil with 20, Argentina with 17, Peru with 14 and Canada with 13. In this event, the whole sector meets, where travel agents find the ideal scenario for business and new partnerships. Also, on these dates, an important gastronomic exhibition is offered to exhibitors and professional assistants. The Tourist Showcase enjoys great recognition, as it is one of the most important trade union activities in Latin America. Today, the interest of top-level entrepreneurs with popular destinations awakens. In addition to the travel agencies are present hotel chains, car rental companies, and important Colombian brands. With proposals to support the growth of tourism in the country, and aligned with the orange economy, travel agents are ready for the 38th edition of the Anato Tourist Showcase (Colombian Association of Travel and Tourism Agencies), which is held since today until March 1 in Corferias, Bogotá.

ANATO is a tourism fair only open to professionals, and that made it easier for me to establish relationships directly with those who make, sell and promote tourism in the Americas. Culture, art, music, gastronomy, regions, ethnicities and communities were represented. The stands by regions invited to dance, to visit and to know. The tourist showcase wanted to make known many regions and centers of tourist interest already known and others of which little or nothing is known. Departments with a lot of tourist attractions like La Guajira, Santander and the department of Huila who was the national guest. The proposals that this department has are innumerable, such as the San Agustín archaeological park, the San Pedro festivities and the Bambuco festival in the city of Neiva, among others. Out of all the good things Colombia showed as a host country; The strong proposals of other countries that are investing enough energy and money to promote their tourism projects were also appreciated. Governments have understood that the tourism industry is an economic and social engine for future generations. At the fair, ANATO associates and exhibitors from around the world will be the protagonists. This event is the opportunity to concentrate travel agents and tourism offices of various countries and regions, which makes it the most important specialized event in the sector in Colombia, in which the presentation of the latest related news is carried out with the world of tourism. This fair is designed exclusively for tourism professionals and congregates exhibitors of national and foreign tourism products and services every year, which will exhibit their products, for their best buyers who are Colombia's travel agents.

Colombia as a tourist country has never ceased to amaze me. Even as a Colombian, there are many beautiful corners that I don't know and that I would like to meet and let you know. At the same time, it is to admire the social evolution of the country to combat its deep problems and open up to international tourism. Colombia is a nation that has managed to recover from the scourge of violence and transform itself in a short time into an engine of the economy, in this case, tourism. That is why Anato works to promote tourism in Colombia and the region. The Colombian Association of travel and tourism agencies - ANATO, is one of the most important engines for the development and promotion of tourism in the coffee country. Anato makes this important touristic showcase of Colombia, and in March 2013 Blogtrip was invited as a travel blog to cover the event. Colombia has already been featured on several lists of top places to visit in next year, and President Juan Manuel Santos opened the next year edition expressing his confidence that with the armed conflict no longer a factor affecting tourism, he expects the number of visitors from abroad and within the country to grow. “This is the moment to break down the wall of scepticism, the wall of conformism, the wall of negativity and the wall of hatred and polarization,” the president said. He added, “It is the time to build and to know and to let the world know about this wonderful Colombia we are and can be.”

Organized by the Colombian Association for Travel and Tourism (ANATO), the annual Anato Tourism Showcase is expected to host some 700 exhibitions from 33 countries this year in the Colombian capital, along with 30,000 industry professionals. The exhibition brought numerous business prospects regarding said industry, as well as the national economy. Various Colombian regions were invited to be part of the event but the main attraction was Risaralda. The stand showed the variety that one might find in that locality pertaining to their wildlife, agriculture, and economic growth. With participants from over 40 countries and the 32 departments of Colombia, nearly USD$150 million in business deals were struck at the fair, foreshadowing a good future for tourism in Colombia. Other countries like Thailand, Indonesia, and Bolivia were also part of the convention along with 40 other counties that also made a long-lasting mark. Experts have estimated direct new business gains of $150 million from deals made over the course of the three-day event. The round-table opens more direct channels of communication between international companies and different Colombian states, the most represented being Cundinamarca, in central Colombia, with 115 companies, and Bolívar, in northern Colombia, with 64.

The objective of the participation is to take advantage of an attractive opportunity for presence, promoting and disseminating Córdoba in the Colombian market, with this participation aiming to take tourist destinations and products to increase their sales through the commercialization channel and to the increase in tourist flow. Day by day and with the aim of improving the attention and service that must be offered to the user, they offer support from the moment you acquire a travel plan until you return home, which makes us a company with personalized service that makes a plus your investment. The main objective of Anato is to carry out actions aimed at making travel agencies continue to be the business and tourism fabric in the country. Therefore, belonging to this union is a seal of guarantee and quality for buyers of tourist services. In addition to promoting diversification, technology applied to customer service, business integration, training and internationalization, the association manages strategies to make the sector one of the most dynamic in the country.

ANATO is the most important tourism fair in Colombia. During this event, Colombia travel agencies promote their products and tourism services. Besides travel agencies, you also can find hotel chains, car rental companies, and major Colombian brands at the ANATO travel fair. This, the most important tourism fair in the country, is a commercial space that brings together airlines, hotels, tourist representation offices and travel agents in Colombia; to promote economic, social, gastronomic and cultural development. In its edition, this event awaits the attendance of more than 18,000 participants and more than 4,000 business appointments. Through this strategy, 6 airlines and 28 national territories met to generate a relationship space in which the requirements and concerns of airlines, aerotaxis, territorial entities, and airports were known, in order to create strategies that improve the connectivity of the country. The AsociaciónColombiana de Agencias de Viajes y Turismo (ANATO) is a trade fair where those working in the industry all over the world come together to trade information and ideas and was particularly important this year with Colombia placing itself as a major destination for international travelers following the country’s recent emergence from a long-drawn-out war.

ANATO, the biggest travel, and tourism fair held annually in Colombia kicked off in the first days of March at Corferias, showcasing a wide array of events related to culture and travel. This year, ANATO focused on showing the different perspectives that can be found when dealing with tourism around the world. The association also tried, and succeeded, constructing new business contracts during the event. According to different sources, it was estimated that around $150 million dollars on business transactions and about $120.000 million dollars in commercial relations were handled during the conference. In accordance with the provisions of the Nature Tourism Business Plan for Colombia, of the Productive Transformation Program (PTP), the bird watching niche is currently experiencing great growth by integrating high flows of international tourists with a significant level of expenditure, which amounts to approximately $ 310 per day. "We want to continue working with travel agencies to make Colombia a world-class destination," said Paula Cortés Calle, president of Anato, during the press conference convened by EL TIEMPO.

ANATO opens the calendar of Colombian tourist events with great and promising expectations derived from the important advances for the tourism sector and the national economy. Facts such as globalization and the negotiation of a peace process mean that their industry is called to be one of the sectors that will promote a greater generation of opportunities for entrepreneurs and populations in all regions of the country. Visitors from Colombia, the overseas source market for the U.S. inbound tourism industry, like to book their travel through travel agencies in increasing—not decreasing—numbers, according to the Colombian Association of Travel and Tourism Agencies (AsociaciónColombiana de Agencias de Viajes y Turismo, or ANATO). According to an ANATO survey, during the end-of-year season, agencies “ratified the importance of tourism packages.” Tour packages were the most purchased item by travelers through the agencies, representing 38 percent of the total share of their sales. In this edition there will be more than 40 delegations of international buyers and five countries will come for the first time to close businesses in Colombia, including Italy, Canada, and the United Arab Emirates. If you are part of the tourism sector, you cannot miss the Anato Tourist Showcase; A perfect occasion to support local economies spread the traditional trades and boost the cultural appeal of their country.

For this edition, Valle del Cauca is the invited department and El Salvador – Guatemala guest nations. In his inaugural speech President Iván Duque mentioned the significant increase in foreign visitors last year to the country, some 4,3 million according to the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism (MinCIT), besides the additional 500,000 who arrive on board cruise ships. The president of ANATO, Paula Cortés Calle, is keen to draw attention to the fact that, for the first time since its inception in 1949, ANATO is holding an event “in a framework of peace after the agreements reached by the national government,” finally allowing international tourists to feel more secure in enjoying Colombia’s wealth of culture, biodiversity, and history. Hopefully, the event will encourage people to think along the lines of the ANATO motto: ‘Colombia, open to the world’. On the other hand, on the second day of the Showcase, the National Government will present its strategy to boost the bird watching the segment, whose strategic axes are: product development, conservation, infrastructure, entrepreneurship, training, promotion, and statistics.


The Association will continue to offer a portfolio of high-quality services, aimed at representing Associates before the different levels of the State, providing for the professionalization of Travel Agents, fostering a fair relationship with suppliers, facilitating the implementation of technologies for the development of the sector, maintaining a good business environment to increase consumer confidence before the Travel Agencies, supported by their regional representation.


By 2020, guarantee and protect with its union-management a sustainable future for ANATO Travel Agencies and the tourism sector.

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