By Which The General Tourism Law Is Issued And Dictate Other Provisions

Original Language Title: Por la cual se expide la Ley General de Turismo y se dictan otras disposiciones

Subscribe to a Global-Regulation Premium Membership Today!

Key Benefits:

Subscribe Now for only USD$20 per month, or Get a Day Pass for only USD$4.99.
ACT 300 OF 1996
(July 26)
Official Gazette No. 42845 of July 30, 1996
Whereby the General Tourism Law is issued and other provisions. Summary

Term Notes


Tourism is an essential condition for the country's development industry and especially the different territorial entities and a social function. As an industry that is, the rates applicable to providers of tourist services on taxation, will that apply to industrial or commercial activity if it is more favorable. The State will give special protection because of its importance to national development. Effective Notes

Legislation Previous

Article 2.
. BEGINNING. They are guiding principles of tourist activity the following:
1. Agreement. Under which decisions and activities of the sector will be socialized into agreements to take responsibility, efforts and resources among the different involved actors, both state sector and the national and international private sector to achieve common goals that benefit tourism.
The communities are partly subject of consultation and decision-making processes in circumstances so warrant, for it will attend the free, prior and informed consent as a legal instrument in accordance with international UN framework.
2. Coordination. Under which public entities that make up the tourism sector will act in a coordinated manner in the exercise of their functions.
3. Decentralization. Under which tourism is the responsibility of the different levels of government in their areas of competence.
4. Planning. Under which tourism activities will be developed according to the tourism sector plan, which will form part of the national development plan.
5. Free enterprise. Under which, in accordance with the provisions of Article 333 of the Constitution, tourism is a service industry of free private enterprise, free access and free competition, subject to the requirements of the law and its implementing rules regulations. Tourism officials at the national and regional levels will preserve the free market, open and fair competition and free enterprise within a regulatory framework for suitability, responsibility and balanced relationship with users.
6. Promotion. Under which the State shall protect and give priority to the development of tourism, recreational activities and in general, everything related to this activity throughout the national territory.
7. Facilitation. Whereby the various agencies directly or indirectly related to tourism, and pave simplify procedures and processes that the Board of Governors of tourism identified as obstacles to tourism development.
8. social, economic and cultural development. Tourism accordance with Article 52 of the Constitution, is a social and economic rights of people because of their contribution to the overall development in the use of leisure time and the appreciation of the cultural identity of communities.
9. Sustainable development. Tourism is developed in harmony with the natural and cultural to ensure its benefits to future generations resources. Determining the load capacity is a key element of the implementation of this principle. Sustainable development is applied in three basic areas: environment, society and economy.
10. Quality. Under which priority is to optimize the quality of destinations and tourist services in all areas, in order to increase the competitiveness of the destination and meet domestic and international demand.
11. Competitiveness. Whereby, tourism development requires creating the necessary conditions for continuous improvement of the tourism industry conditions, so that by increasing demand generates wealth and encourage domestic and foreign investment capital.
12. Accessibility. Under which it is the duty of the tourism sector propender accordance with Article 13 of the Constitution, the removal of barriers to the use and enjoyment of tourism by all sectors of society, encouraging equal opportunities.
13. Consumer protection. With a view to the full development of tourism, the consumer will be subject to specific protection by public and private entities. Effective Notes

Legislation Previous


Legislation Previous

ARTICLE 4. Vice Ministry of Tourism. . Effective Notes

Legislation Previous

The 5th ITEM. FUNCTIONS OF THE VICE. . Effective Notes

Legislation Previous

ARTICLE 6o. ADDRESS tourism strategy. . Effective Notes

Legislation Previous

Effective Jurisprudence

ARTICLE 7. Operational management. . Effective Notes

Legislation Previous

Article 8. TOP TOURIST BOARD. . Effective Notes

Legislation Previous

Article 9. POWERS. . Effective Notes

Legislation Previous


Legislation Previous


Legislation Previous


DEVELOPMENT OF POLICY AND PLANNING OF TOURISM. To fulfill the purposes of this Act, the Ministry of Economic Development will formulate government policy in tourism and exercise planning activities, in harmony with the interests of the regions and local authorities.
support decentralization. The Ministry of Economic Development will support the decentralization of tourism, the competition of local authorities in tourism is exercised in accordance with the principles of coordination, competition and subsidiarity provided for in Article 288 of the Constitution. For this purpose establish programs of technical assistance and advice to local authorities.

ARTICLE 14. REGIONAL HARMONY. Departments, districts, municipalities, indigenous territories and regions and provinces to which the law give the character of territorial entities shall exercise their constitutional and legal tourism-related functions in a coordinated and harmonious manner, subject the rules of superior character and the guidelines of the National tourism Policy in order to ensure a unified, rational and coherent management of tourism.

ARTICLE 15. Institutional arrangements. In order to harmonize the general policy of regional tourism, the Ministry of Economic Development may sign agreements with local authorities for the implementation of agreed plans and programs, allocating resources and responsibilities.


DEVELOPMENT OF TOURISM SECTOR PLAN. The Ministry of Economic Development, following the procedure established by Article 339 of the Constitution for the elaboration of the National Development Plan, prepared by the Sector Plan for Tourism in coordination with the National Planning Department and local authorities, which form part National Development Plan, prior approval of Conpes.
The draft plan will be presented to the Board of Tourism for its concept.
The Tourism Sector Plan will contain elements to strengthen the competitiveness of the sector, so that tourism find favorable conditions for its development in the social, economic, cultural and environmental fields conditions.
The territorial participation in the development of the Tourism Sector Plan, will follow the same mechanism established in article 9. paragraph 1 of Law 152 of 1994, for the establishment of the National Planning Council.

ITEM 17. SECTOR PLANS departmental, district and municipal DEVELOPMENT. It corresponds to the Departments, the Regions, the Capital District of Santa Fe de Bogota, the Districts and Municipalities and indigenous communities, development of Sector Plans Tourism Development in their respective jurisdiction, based on this law.

ARTICLE 18. PRIORITY TOURISM DEVELOPMENT. The District or Municipal Councils prior approval from the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism or at the request of the Ministry, in exercise of the powers contained in Article 313 paragraph 7 of the Constitution, determine the areas of priority Tourism Development, which will produce the following effects:

1. Affectation land use to ensure the priority development of tourism activities. The tourist use precedence over any other use later decreed on such areas, and that is not compatible with tourism.
2. Local support in the allocation to those areas of public services and basic infrastructure, according to teachers district or municipal plans. PARAGRAPH 1.
. In accordance with the provisions of Article 32, paragraph 7 of Law 136 of 1994, the District or Municipal Councils may establish tax exemptions on their competence in the areas of tourism development priority. PARAGRAPH 2.
. The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism and the National Tourism Fund, to support promotion and competitiveness areas declared by the District or Municipal Councils as Priority Tourism Development Zones. Effective Notes

Legislation Previous

FREE ZONES ARTICLE 19. TOURIST. The Tourist Zones continue to be governed by Decree 2131 of 1991, except as provided in the following articles.
The new tourism investments made in the Archipelago Departments of San Andres and Providencia, Amazonas and Vichada, have the benefits granted to investments in tourist zones, upon approval of the project by the Ministry of Commerce Foreign and Economic Development, meeting the same requirements as for the declaration of Franca Tourist Zone established by Decree 2131 of 1991.

ARTICLE 20. RESOLUTION OF DECLARATION. For purposes of the Declaration of the Free Tourist Zone, the corresponding resolution must be signed by the Ministers of Foreign Trade and Economic Development.
The Ministry of Economic Development, will be part of FTZ Tourism Committee that conforms to determine promotion policy, operation and control of them.

ARTICLE 21. COMMITTEE OF FREE ZONES. . The Committee to Free Zone Development Plan Social Leap, adopted by the 2nd article, of Law 188 of 1995 shall consist of:
1. The Minister of Foreign Trade, who will preside and may delegate their representation to the Deputy Minister.
2. The Minister of Economic Development or his delegate.
3. The Minister of Finance or his delegate.
4. The Director of the Directorate of National Taxes and Customs, DIAN or his delegate.
5. The Director of the National Planning Department or his delegate.

ARTICLE 22. FUNCTIONS OF THE COMMITTEE OF FREE ZONES. The Free Zones Committee shall have, among others, the following functions:
1. Study and issue concept of free zone requests submitted for consideration by the Ministry of Foreign Trade.
2. Analyze and propose policies operation and promotion of free zones and control mechanisms thereof.
3. Issuing concept on applications for enlargement or reduction of free zones. PARAGRAPH 1.
. For purposes of coordinating actions with the private sector, the Committee of Free Zones may meet regularly with employers in the sector. PARAGRAPH 2.
. The Committee will FTZ its own rules.
tourism resources. The Ministry of Economic Development, after consulting the Superior Council of Tourism, may request the District or Municipal Councils the declaration as tourism resources of public benefit those urban or rural areas, plazas, avenues, monuments, buildings and others to be developed subject special plans, purchased by the State or preserved, restored or rebuilt. PARAGRAPH 1.
. They may only be declaratory of tourist resources in indigenous territories and black communities, prior consent of the respective communities that traditionally inhabit, according to the mechanisms stipulated by law for this purpose. PARAGRAPH 2.
. The Ministry of Economic Development will develop a tourist country inventory to identify tourism resources, within a period not exceeding six months from the effective date of this law. This inventory will serve as a basis for defining promotion programs undertaken.

ARTICLE 24. EFFECTS OF THE DECLARATION OF TOURISM RESOURCE. The declaration of tourist resource issued by the competent authority shall have the following effects:
1. The property subject of the declaration will be especially affected their exploitation as national or regional tourist attraction, with priority to use against others and against various tourism purposes.

2. When the good object of the declaration is public, it must have a program and a budget of reconstruction, restoration and conservation from the budget of the local authority in whose jurisdiction it is located. Should the declaration of tourist resource has been requested by the Ministry of Economic Development, resources for reconstruction, restoration and conservation are borne by the national budget, for which the Ministry of Economic Development will manage the registration of the project in the Bank National Investment Project and its approval by the National Planning Department. Acts of declaration of tourist resource indicate the authority or entity responsible for the management and conservation of the property subject of the declaration. Under this Act may be delegated to individuals, through a contract or concession, management and exploitation of public property subject to declaration of tourist resource.

TOLL TURÍSTICO. In accordance with Article 313 of the Constitution, it authorize the municipal councils of those municipalities with less than one hundred thousand inhabitants, who have great historical, artistic and cultural value to establish a tourist toll, according to the regulations for the purpose by the respective City Council. Such tolls may be established at the entrances to the respective tourist sites.
Municipal Councils may exercise the authority granted them this article, following a favorable opinion issued by Colcultura, the Ministry of Economic Development, the Higher Council of Tourism and the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit.
The rate established for the toll shall not exceed legal minimum daily wage per vehicle minimum public or commercial and legal daily wage average use per vehicle for private use.
The resources collected by toll concept established in this article, will be part of the budget of revenues and expenditures of the municipality and should be devoted exclusively to cleaning and beautification works or leading to preserve or improve the sites, historical buildings and monuments of the town. Effective Jurisprudence



1. Tourism. Set of activities carried out -turistas- persons traveling to and staying in places other than their usual environment for purposes including entertainment, culture, health, events, conventions or business.
According to the movement of travelers, tourism can be:
a) Outbound tourism. The one by nationals abroad.
B) internal tourism. The made by residents in the economic territory of the country.
C) incoming tourism. That conducted by non-residents in the economic territory of the country.
D) Ramblers. Denomínase hikers non-residents who enter the country without an overnight stay in a different order transit.
2. Tourist. Anyone who travels to a different from his usual place of residence, who stays at least one night in the place you visit and whose main purpose of trip is leisure, rest, leisure time, pilgrimages, health, or other other than an activity in the destination.
Also considered international tourists and cruise passengers Colombians living abroad visiting Colombia.
3. Loading capacity. It is the maximum number of people for tourism development that an area can support, ensuring maximum satisfaction to visitors and minimal impact on natural and cultural resources.
This notion assumes the existence of limits on the use, determined by environmental, social and managerial factors that define the environmental authority. Effective Notes

Legislation Previous

ARTICLE 27. JURISDICTION AND VENUE. In accordance with the provisions of Law 99 of 1993, the Ministry of Environment, in coordination with the Ministry of Economic Development, managing the areas that integrate the System of National Parks, ensure their protection, conservation and regulate their use and operation.
Therefore, whenever ecotourism activities that are intended to develop in areas of the National Parks System, will these entities that define the viability of projects, services to be offered, permitted activities, capacity load and mode of operation.

PARÁGRAFO. In those natural reserve areas or special handling, other than the Parks System that may have tourist use, the Ministry of Environment will determine with tourism authorities, regulations, services, rules, agreements and concessions each case, according to the convenience and compatibility of these areas.
PLANNING. The development of ecotourism projects in the areas of System of National Parks, shall be subject to planning procedures stipulated by law. To this end, they should consider their development only in areas planned as areas of high intensity of use and general recreation area outside, according to the management plan or master plan areas (with ecotourism potential.

ARTICLE 29. promoting ecotourism, ethno tourism, agrotourism, ACUATURISMO AND METROPOLITAN TOURISM. the State promote the development of ecotourism, ethno-tourism, agro-tourism, and tourism acuaturismo metropolitan, for which the Tourism Sector Plan should contain guidelines and specific support programs for these modalities, including outreach programs offer.

ARTICLE 30. Institutional coordination. the Tourism Sector Plan prepared by the Ministry of Economic Development should include aspects related to ecotourism, ethno-tourism, agro-tourism, tourism and metropolitan acuaturismo which should be coordinated with the Ministry of Environment.
The sector plans to develop tourism development local authorities should include aspects related to coordination with the Autonomous Regional Corporations and / or ecotourism Sustainable Development.
The establishment of committees at national and regional level will be promoted to achieve adequate institutional and sectoral coordination to promote agreements on technical, educational, financial cooperation and training related to the topic of ecotourism, ethno-tourism and agro-tourism.
Through these committees awareness among decision-making bodies on the issue of National Parks System and other special management areas and forest reserve areas in order to promote the protection and conservation programs will be promoted.

ARTICLE 31. SANCTIONS. In case of violations of the System of Natural National Parks system, procedure and sanctions imposed such legislation applies to these offenses.
Likewise, whenever environmental violations other special management areas or reserve areas are presented, the measures contained in Law 99 of 1993 shall apply the provisions or the reformed or replaced. The foregoing is without prejudice to the sanctions applicable to those who violate this law.



ARTICLE 32. SOCIAL TOURISM INTEREST. Definition. It is a public service sponsored by the State so that people with limited financial resources can access the exercise of their right to rest and use of leisure time, through programs that enable them to make healthy recreational activities, recreation, sport and cultural development under appropriate conditions of economy, safety and comfort.
PARÁGRAFO. Understood by people with limited economic resources those whose monthly family income is equal to or less than two (2) minimum monthly wages. Effective Notes

Legislation Previous

ARTICLE 33. SOCIAL PROMOTION OF TOURISM OF INTEREST. In order to be more inclusive and to guarantee the right to recreation, to practice sport and use of leisure time enshrined in Article 52 of the Constitution, the State shall promote the development of tourism of social interest. To this effect, the Vice Ministry of Tourism, with the support and coordination with the agencies and entities, promote the establishment and operation of companies in the social sector, aimed at providing tourist services accessible to the disadvantaged population. Likewise, promote joint efforts to improve the care and development of places where it can be susceptible raise their economic standard of living, by the tourism industry for this purpose sectoral tourism plan must contain guidelines and support programs tourism social interest.

PARÁGRAFO. They made an integral part of this sector entities to develop recreational activities or social tourism, particularly the Family Compensation. Effective Notes

Legislation Previous

ARTICLE 34. CO-FINANCING OF TOURISM OF STAKE. 2nd hereby added article. Decree 2132 of 1992, which shall be as follows:
Cofinancing Fund for Social Investment, FIS, will co-finance the exclusive purpose decentralized execution of programs and projects submitted by local authorities, including which provide subsidies to demand, in health, education, culture, recreation, sports, use of leisure time and attention to vulnerable groups of the population. Their resources may be used for programs and projects of investment and operating costs in the initial phases of the respective program and project, for the time determined in accordance with regulations adopted by the Board. priority to programs and projects that use the subsidy system will demand; the oriented groups poorest and most vulnerable population and providing for the establishment and development of autonomous administrative entities and patrimonially for the provision of education and health.
SENIORS, PENSIONERS, PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES, AND STUDENTS BELONGING TO YOUNG STRATA 1 AND 2 AND ESPECIALLY TO carnetizados LEVELS I AND II OF SISBÉN. The National Government shall regulate services programs and special discounts on tourism for persons referred to in this article as long as they belong to strata 1 and 2 and in particular the carnetizados levels I and II of Sisbén.
The National Government shall promote the signing of agreements with providers of tourist services and the Family Compensation Funds, through which adequate prices and conditions are determined, as well as packages that make the fulfillment of the objectives of this possible article, the benefit of this population. Effective Notes

Legislation Previous

ARTICLE 36. JUVENILE TOURISM. According to the Constitution, the national government support, with the Vice Ministry of Youth, plans and projects to promote tourism for youth.
To this end the Government will allocate the necessary resources from the national budget.
PARÁGRAFO. The Family Compensation designed programs for recreation and tourism involving children and young people, for which may make agreements with public and private entities that allow them the use of urban parks, youth hostels, communal houses, camping sites, Country schools and its own recreational and resort infrastructure.
Marketing, promotion of tourism and international tourism cooperation.


tourism promotion programs. The Ministry of Economic Development, after consultation with the Steering Committee of the Tourism Promotion Fund, design policy promotion and marketing of the country as a tourist destination and advance the studies serve as support for the decisions taken in this regard.
The execution of promotional programs will be undertaken by the Administrator of the Tourism Promotion Fund, in accordance with the contracts to the effect signed with the Ministry of Economic Development and the National Tourism Corporation *. Effective Notes

ARTICLE 38. PROMOTION OFFICES ABROAD. The Ministry of Economic Development may enter into inter-administrative agreements with the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Proexport Colombia, so that through their Commercial Attaches and representatives of their offices abroad, can advance work research and promotion in to increase tourist flows to Colombia. The expenses incurred in these promotional efforts will be in charge of Tourism Promotion Fund.

Related Laws