Argentinian-born Pope Francis is expected to arrive in Medellín in less than 3 months, marking the fourth Vatican visit to Colombia. The visit is expected to draw more than 176,000 tourists from all parts of Colombia, as well as from other countries like Panamá, Mexico, and Ecuador. The last pope to visit Colombia was Pope John Paul II in 1986.
The Medellin-Antioquia System of Touristic Indicators (SITUR) indicated an expected hotel occupancy of 90%. There will be 16,140 hotel rooms and 23,977 beds available, according to the report.
The Mayor of Medellín, Francisco Gutiérrez, said that this event will generate US $22.4 million dollars to the city. However preparations are still underway to ensure that the city is prepared for the logistics of so many tourists.
During his visit, the Pope will is scheduled to visit several parts of the city. The most important event will be the mass held on September 9th at the Olaya Herrera airport on 9 am, where more than 1 million people are expected to attend. Medellin is currently home to 2.4 million people.