The return of the most important cultural festival in Colombia brought the illusion back to the more than 3 million spectators who, after an atypical year due to the pandemic, found a Carnival that was worth "two times" for both culture and for employment, as decreed by her sovereign Valeria Charris Salcedo.

In this regard, the mayor Jaime Pumarejo stressed that “we recovered our joy and we were able to meet again on the street. To smile again, to hug, and that means a lot: illusion, optimism and a recharge of energy for this coming year. We showed that we could, despite skepticism, fear and fear, we did a great Carnival”.

The mayor also stated that more than half a million people were in Barranquilla “and most leave with an incredible image of our city. And something very important is that we were able to go back to work, we were able to give a cultural sector purpose again so that recovery can return", referring to the more than 53,000 people who reactivated their jobs and who "today have better incomes and savings than what they they had a month ago."

The agenda of more than 130 events, including parades, fairs, exhibitions, stationary events and the transmission of knowledge, reached 92 neighborhoods of the city, impacting an audience of 3,000,000 spectators, thanks to the investment of $5,900 million from the District through the Carnival Stimulus Portfolio.

“It is satisfying to see the important response that Barranquilla residents and visitors gave to the invitation to enjoy our Carnival again. We announced that we would work to guarantee the celebration of the festival, and it was worth the wait, giving us results as significant as the ones we are sharing with you," said the Secretary of Culture and Heritage, María Teresa Fernández. "It has been demonstrated that in the city we know how to celebrate, but we also know how to take care of ourselves," he concluded.

This agenda reached the five locations in the city, guaranteeing the decentralization of the festival, so that citizens could enjoy the programming in the vicinity of their places of residence, thus 55% of these activities took place in the Southwestern locations and Southeast.

In terms of financial reactivation of its makers, the Carnival of Barranquilla was the opportunity for more than 53,000 people to boost their economy.

30,000 of them, makers, artists, artisans, musicians, dancers, costume designers, trainers and producers, were reactivated thanks to the Carnival agenda and the different projects led by the operators. Additionally, another 23,000 people from industries related to the party were indirectly benefited.

Among the benefited artists and makers, the economic impact on more than 16,500 dancers and 3,800 musicians stands out, and at least 144 orchestras and musical groups were hired during the days of the festival.

In this programming, events dedicated to the transmission of the knowledge of the festival stood out, through which the fulfillment of one of the commitments of the Special Plan for the Safeguarding of the Barranquilla Carnival materialized: 33 district educational institutions (IED) were intervened , benefiting 12,430 students who learned more about folkloric expressions, directly from their carriers.

All this was possible thanks to the work of its different operators such as Carnival of Barranquilla SAS, Carnival of 44, Autonomous Corporation of Gay Carnival, Carnival of the Southeast and Southwest, Fides, Movimiento Cívico Todos por Barranquilla, FAYFA, Ay Macondo, Carnival of the Artes and Grupo Tambó, thus returning the parades, dances, festivals, concerts, celebrations in neighborhoods and demonstrations that enrich Carnival as a popular and inclusive celebration.

Economic dynamism: expectations exceeded
According to preliminary data from the Tourist Information System, "the arrival of more than 490,000 national and international visitors was registered, an increase of 25% in this indicator compared to 2020, and tourists from destinations such as Slovenia, Japan were found , Germany, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Spain, the United States, France, the Netherlands, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Sweden and Venezuela; More than 300 of them were attended at the Tourist Service Points”, as explained by the Secretary of Economic Development, Ricardo Plata Sarabia.

On the other hand, among national visitors there are destinations such as Bogotá, Bucaramanga, Cali, Barrancabermeja and Medellín.

The official said that, taking this dynamic into account, “we far exceeded the expectations we had projected: almost 100% hotel occupancy was recorded for the Friday and Saturday of Carnival. Meanwhile, the average occupancy was 86%, taking the 4 days of the carnival. Previously, it was expected that this indicator would mark 70% for Friday until reaching 90% only until Carnival Saturday.

The change of date was the great opportunity to have good scenarios, greater confidence and better epidemiological indicators, and this effect was seen to the extent that it was recorded that 52% (more than half of the public) stayed between 3 and 5 nights , product of the matches of the Colombian National Team, concerts and other events.

The average spending of national and foreign tourists, including tickets, reached $1,400,000, which represents almost double what the average visitor normally spends when coming to the city.

Large companies, such as Coca-Cola and Bavaria, brought more than 300 visitors to the city, as guests, to experience the Colombia vs. Bolivia and Carnival events, who registered an average stay of 3 to 4 days and an economic benefit of almost 1,000 million pesos for the city.

Commercial galleries of the District were also winners
Likewise, the commercial galleries in the Center, such as Robertico, San Nicolás, Esquina del Arte, Casa Vargas and Galería 32 increased their sales by 30% during this season.

The Artisanal and Commercial Gallery 72, which brings together 100 merchants and artisans and is one of the traditional epicenters in this cultural and creative industry, located next to the Romelio Martínez stadium, reported that total sales this season were in the order of the 600 million pesos.

Finally, the Ministry of Economic Development highlights that through the #ValeEmprender strategy, sales of more than $100 million were generated for the 95 microentrepreneurs who participated in the trade fairs since February.

Health: 2,500 doses of COVID-19 vaccines applied
Vaccination against COVID-19 continued during Carnival: more than 2,500 doses of the vaccine were applied at the points set up by the Ministry of Health.

This dependency arranged a human team of more than 200 agents to guarantee health care to attendees of the different events on the agenda.

Additionally, during the holidays, more than 120,000 condoms and educational material were distributed throughout the city.

84 heroes in white capes, including doctors, nurses, vaccinators and Health Walkers, members of the Barranquilla public network, paid homage to life in the Guacherna and Batalla de Flores parades. The dancers sent a message of self-care and protection of life.

Security: Reduction in crime
According to preliminary information provided by the Barranquilla Metropolitan Police, from Saturday to Carnival Tuesday there were reductions in different crimes, comparing these festivities with 2020. We can highlight the reduction of theft to people with 205 fewer cases, injuries Reported personal injuries were reduced by 56 cases, while no cases were reported in motorcycle theft.

The Office for Citizen Security and Coexistence provided support for 150 coexistence promoters for awareness and prevention activities in events with a massive influx and in prioritized points in the five towns.

Among the interventions carried out, those of the commerce sector stand out, with 52% of the attentions, while activities on public roads registered 46% of the pedagogical actions.

Urban Control and Public Space
An operational team of 300 people, including lookouts, inspectors and police, guaranteed adequate access and protection of public space in key sectors of the city, through actions such as tours prior to the parades, box control, support for access to events massive, removal of goods that obstruct the circulation and controls of illegal occupation, among others.

Additionally, the Secretary of Urban Control and Public Space, Ángelo Cianci, explained that the necessary permits were issued from this unit to "harmonize the economic activity of the event with the enjoyment and occupation of public space."
May 17, 2022 — Ven Vive Barranquilla

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