The Carnival of Barranquilla and its Contribution to Economy.

The Carnival of Barranquilla just started, designated by Unesco as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity is one of the most important festivals in Colombia and one of the principals economy events on the Atlantic region of Colombia.

A party as big as this one costs around COP9.000 million (USD3 million). Carnaval S.A. is in charge of the financial resources that come mostly from the rent of VIP booths, the entrance fee to some shows, the right to broadcast, sponsorships and the Culture Ministry’s contributions. Even though this figure seems high, the profits that the carnival makes are even higher.

For 2017 the city of Barranquilla expects to get 1’260.000 tourist during the celebrations, providing the region with COP56.000 million (USD 19 million) of income. This amount represents the 0,2% of the Atlantic region GDP in a year.

According to the Barranquilla’s Chamber of Commerce (BCC), the carnival influences numerous economic areas, the hotel industry, restaurants, commerce and transportation, to name some, generating about 12.000 temporary jobs, 72,4% on formal industry and 27,6% on informal.

The aeronautical sector will get benefitted as well, the statistics show that around 30.000 people will air travel to Barranquilla, between 7% and 10% of those people would come from a different country, mainly EEUU. And because of the dollar rate, foreign would have a higher purchasing power than the locals.

The BCC also points that 95% of the goods sold during the festival are made in Barranquilla, the other 5% represents products as hats, accessories and handicrafts made in other cities of Colombia like Armenia, Medellin, Bogotá, Cali, Cartagena, Sincelejo and Riohacha.

So, to all the carnival lovers, it’s good to note that at the same time you enjoy the festivities, you are helping Colombia’s Economy.

Elizabeth Pinto Zambrano

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