Europa Press recently reported on the expected construction of 16,000 new hotel rooms in Colombia in 2011. The number is a 9 percent increase in the number of hotel rooms built in 2010.

The number represents a 4,011 percent increase in the number of new hotel rooms built in 2004. The tourist boom has officially arrived.

Golfo de Morrosquillo, Colombia. The hotel from which this picture was taken was built in 2008 as part of a resurgent tourism boom to the area.

Golfo de Morrosquillo, Colombia. The hotel from which this picture was taken was built in 2008 as part of a resurgent tourism boom to the area.

It is no longer a secret that international tourism is on the rise in Colombia. Readers of the NYTimes chose the country as the second best place to go, topping even Costa Rica, a perennial favorite travel destination in Latin America.

The data is from Proexport, a state-subsidized entity promoting Colombian exports, foreign investment, and culture. Proexport is behind initiatives dedicated to promoting Colombia abroad, including the “Colombia es Pasion” campaign and colombia.travel, which encourages people to visit Colombia with the tongue-in-cheek slogan of “The Only Risk is Wanting to Stay”.

Websites like the Medellin-based Colombia Reports, The Arepa, and many others have sprung up, offering would be visitors and expats English-language information.

The rise in hotel rooms is not just related to tourism. Global businesses are expanding their Andean operations to Bogota, shifting from a riskier political and security situation in neighboring Caracas.

Tourism however is not a boon for all sectors of Colombian society, as the LA Times highlighted in an story filed from Cartagena during the busy December season. Those who work in real estate, hotels, and travel agencies are the ones that benefit the most, but the trickle down does not reach everyday citizens, according to the article.

Those who work in construction might count themselves among the beneficiaries, as well.